On April 29th, the Hawaii Legislature overwhelmingly passed House Bill 444, which grants same-sex couples in civil unions “the same rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities” as those enjoyed by married couples.
Republican Governor Linda Lingle is reportedly undecided about whether to sign or veto Hawaii’s civil unions bill. Her decision could come any day.
IF SIGNED INTO LAW, this bill will dramatically improve the lives of thousands of Hawaii families, and it will help add momentum to the nation-wide movement for equal rights.
IF VETOED, it could be years before Hawaiians get another chance to take a step towards equality.
Every bit of momentum for equal rights is at a premium right now, and this is the most important legislative action we’ve seen in months.
Civil unions and marriage aren’t the same thing, and we know that. But we believe every step toward equality, wherever it happens, is a step we need to take.
The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee