8 Jul 2010

Hawaii governor faces legal action over civil union veto

4:49 pm on 8 July 2010

The American Civil Liberties Union says it will take legal action now the Governor of Hawaii has vetoed a civil unions bill.

The legal rights advocacy group says it will now pursue a law suit contending that the Hawaii Constitution requires the government to provide equal rights and benefits to couples of any sexual orientation, and prevents discrimination.

Lois Perrin, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii, says Governor Linda Lingle's proposal that the issue be decided by voters through a ballot paper is disappointing.

"In essence what she's done is she's advocating for a constitutional amendment to strip people of their constitutional rights and that's particularly disturbing. The constitution was put in place precisely to prevent that sort of majority discrimination and for an elected official to advocate for that is really disrespectful, not only to the constitution but to the fundamental rights of all of Hawaii's people."

Lois Perrin says they would have preferred the bill to work its way through the political process, but they believe they have a strong legal case.