Hawaii Governor Vetoes Civil Unions Bill

Gov. Linda Lingle, Hawaii

After months of deliberation, Gov. Linda Lingle of Hawaii, has vetoed a bill that would have granted civil unions to same-sex couples in that state. The civil unions bill would have granted nearly all the state-recognized rights of marriage to same-sex couples.

The state will continue to grant a “reciprocal beneficiaries” arrangement to same-sex couples. The state first passed its reciprocal benficiary law in 1997. Reciprocal beneficiaries have access to a limited number of rights and benefits on the state level, including inheritance rights, workers compensation, the right to sue for wrongful death, health insurance and pension benefits for state employees, hospital visitation, and healthcare decisionmaking. Hawaii’s RBR status also offers partners the option to jointly own property.

Supporters of marriage equality in Hawaii have pledged to continue their struggle in the wake of this devastating defeat.

It is worth noting that Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has pledged his support to sign a civil unions bill into law if it is  passed by the legislature.

Show your support for the civil unions bill by signing the Allied for Equality petition now.

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