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Five large Hawaii businesses announce support for civil unions

Five major Hawaii businesses are backing a civil unions bill now before Gov. Linda Lingle, according to a Washington D.C. organization supporting civil rights for gays.

“America’s most successful businesses have been leaders in treating same-sex headed families with fairness and respect so it’s no surprise that they are speaking out loudly for civil unions in Hawaii,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese, in a release this morning.

The five businesses are Marriott International Inc., Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.,  Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc., Aon Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc.

The announcement comes after the Hawaii Business Roundtable urged Lingle to veto the bill which would allow any two adults to form a civil union with all the rights and responsibilities of marriage.

“Time Warner Cable specifically prohibits all forms of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered employees and offers full equal benefits to all our employees,” the statement read, noting that the cable company’s Hawaii subsidiary, Oceanic Cable, is a member of the Business Roundtable.

“While we are active members of the Business Roundtable and believe it to be a beneficial organization for the people of Hawaii, we do not agree with every decision that the Roundtable makes. The letter to Governor Lingle urging her not to support House Bill 444 is one such instance,” the statement said.

The Roundtable was not available for comment this morning.

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