A lobby group, Equality Hawaii, says support is growing for legal action to protect the rights of same sex couples after a civil union bill was vetoed.
The Hawaii Governor, Linda Lingle, vetoed the bill, describing it as simply marriage by another name.
She told local media that lawmakers should now draft the language for it to become a question on the ballot paper, saying it was an issue to be decided by voters and not politicians.
A spokesman for Equality Hawaii, Alan Spector, says while the governor's action is a huge disappointment, people will continue to lobby for their rights through the legislature and, if need be, the courts.
"We are very saddened, we're shocked, we're outraged. The degree of emotions really vary from person to person. But what she did is that she said that minority rights don't count."
Equality Hawaii's Alan Spector.