Gubernatorial candidates react to civil union veto - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Gubernatorial candidates react to civil union veto

Neil Abercrombie Neil Abercrombie
Mayor Mufi Hannemann Mayor Mufi Hannemann
Lt. Governor James "Duke" Aiona Lt. Governor James "Duke" Aiona

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -- At least two of the three leading candidates to succeed Linda Lingle as governor say it should be up to a vote of the people to decide the issue of civil unions.

The exception is Democrat Neil Abercrombie, who said HB 444 "was not a same-sex marriage bill."

In a statement issued from Maui, where he is campaigning, Abercrombie said, "Civil unions respect our diversity, protect people's privacy, and reinforce our core values of equality and aloha. It will be up to the next governor and legislature to ensure that all people of Hawaii receive equal treatment."

Republican Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona said if he were elected governor, he would propose a constitutional amendment "so the people can define marriage once and for all."

Aiona commended the governor for making "a courageous decision" to veto the bill. But he also blasted the legislature for trying to put pressure on the governor by not calling for a special session to override vetoes.

"To put that kind of pressure on one person, especially during an election year, and knowing how this issue is falling, that's just totally unfair," Aiona said.

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, campaigning today on Kauai, issued a statement, saying he "firmly support steps to let the people of Hawaii have the final say on an issue that has generated passionate perspectives.

"I continue to believe that marriage between a man and a woman is sacrosanct," Hannemann said, and added, "That said, as someone who has fought to overcome prejudice, I would also continue to champion the civil rights of all citizens and seek to end discrimination-in employment, housing, health care, and areas where it still exists-irrespective of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religious preference."

More about this story on

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Full text of Governor Lingle's remarks on HB 444

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