Hannemann still hasn’t come out on civil union decision

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - While many have voiced their opinion on House Bill 444, one gubernatorial candidate's stance remained unclear. Mufi Hannemann has said he is for protecting traditional marriage, but also says he's a champion for civil rights.  Today we asked him what exactly he would have done with the civil union decision.

"(House Bill) 444 would have been problematic for me if that bill would have weakened the institution of marriage between a man and a woman," said Mufi Hannemann, Honolulu Mayor.

"So does that mean veto?" I asked.

"Well as I said I don't know. I would have been there, I need to go through there, but obviously there would have been two things for me to have done veto or let it go without my signature. I'd have problems just full on signing it," responded Hannemann.

We definitively know Duke Aiona would have vetoed it.  And Neil Abercrombie gave a much simpler answer to the, 'what would you do with the House Bill 444 question.'

"Oh I would have signed it," said Neil Abercrombie, (D) Gubernatorial Candidate.

The straight forward stance helped Abercrombie gain the support of the gay community.  Today he was endorsed by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Caucus.

Meanwhile Hannemann got the endorsement from the United Public Workers Union, which represents 13,000 people.

While it doesn't happen often Hannemann's position sounds a lot like Governor Lingle's, something he took exception to when pointed out.

"That's Mufi Hannemann's consistent position, on how I've always felt ever since I've been in public life on traditional marriage and secondly when I was queried about 444, if you go back and check the record long before Governor Lingle issued her statement yesterday, that has always been my position.  The only new element she has introduced is she says put it to a vote. That's the only new thing she put out yesterday and I said I can support that," said Hannemann.

The record shows he's for traditional marriage but it still isn't clear about civil unions which is why republicans say if Hannemann can't make a firm decision he can't be trusted.

"We hear him behind the scenes telling one side he's for it and the other side he's against it, but the question is Mufi as much as you've been for tax and spend here in the State of Hawaii make the same decision on HB 444. It's a yes or no answer that's really what it is," said Jonah Kaauwai, Hawaii Republican Party Chairman.  "On such a divisive issue, an important issue here in the State of Hawaii leadership is expected to be able to stand on their values but obviously I think to voters it shows Mufi doesn't have any values and it's really going to work on whether the voters can actually trust him."

With activists vowing to continue the fight for civil unions the issue could land on the next governor's desk again within the next four years.

More about this story on HawaiiNewsNow.com:

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.