Emotions run high after Governor's civil union veto

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For some, dignity went out the window the moment Governor Lingle said the word 'veto'.

Her decision triggered an emotional response.

At the capitol, there were a lot of tears from those for and against civil unions, with opponents celebrating and supporters, deeply disappointed.

"You're a coward Linda Lingle!" yelled one supporter of the bill.

"Thank you Jesus! Thank you Lord!" said an opponent.

It was an overwhelming announcement for both sides.

"I am just devastated beyond words," said Kaleo Gagne, a proponent of civil unions.

"I'm just very very grateful for the outcome of today. This has been something that's been in my heart for a long time," said Patricia Chung, an opponent of HB 444.

Upstairs, outside the Governor's office, those against civil unions broke out in song and praise.

Downstairs at the capitol, many supporters of the bill, cried in despair, and anger.

But immediately after, they continued their rally, sign-waving in front of the capital, more determined than ever to fight for equal rights.

"We're not going away. We're still here, our love and our relationship is still here," said domestic partners, Laura Belding and Stanley Schofield.

"We got it passed in the House, we got it passed in the Senate and it's going to get passed on the floor when we have a new governor coming in November," said Gagne.

Meanwhile, those against civil unions say the Governor's veto is a sign.

"It shows that the majority of the people of Hawaii are in favor of traditional marriage," said Chung.

A discrimination lawsuit is in the works.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal plan to file soon.

No date has been set yet.

The groups say they need to weigh the Governor's reasoning first.

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