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Hawaii News

Sending a loud, clear message

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Tara O’Neill, foreground, showed a postcard yesterday supporting civil unions which had been delivered to Gov. Linda Lingle’s office. In the background, Adrian Matanza, left, Tony Wagner, Alan Spector, Michael Golojuch Jr., Carolyn Golojuch and Paul Gracie were also among those representing a coalition of leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations who had walked into Lingle’s office to deliver poll results favorable to the civil-union movement.


Gov. Linda Lingle has until Tuesday to veto House Bill 444 relating to civil unions. A Page B4 article Thursday reported that her deadline was Sunday.



Members of a coalition of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender groups delivered to Gov. Linda Lingle’s office yesterday an Equality Hawaii 2009 poll favorable to the civil unions movement, as well as an estimated 7,500 letters, postcards and petition signatures.

Lingle has until Tuesday to decide whether to veto civil unions House Bill 444, one of 39 bills she has identified on her list of potential vetoes.

"I think the governor has been very deliberate in her consideration of the bill," said Tony Wagner, of the Human Rights Campaign. "She’s done a really good job in listening to all sides, and we want to give her all the information possible to make an informed decision."

Lingle did not meet with the group.

Coalition members expressed confidence that Lingle would carefully consider the results of the poll commissioned by Equality Hawaii and conducted in March 2009 by QMark Research and Polling.

"We have letters and signatures from a broad demographic — the straight community, the gay community, across the state, across the country," said Michael Golojuch Jr., of the GLBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii and Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)-Oahu. "Our online petition has signatures from Venezuela, South Korea, Australia. It’s clear that the world is watching how Hawaii decides this issue."

Alan Spector of Equality Hawaii said the poll results, letters and petitions delivered yesterday are meant to bolster an already strong case for civil unions.

"We’ve demonstrated to Gov. Lingle that there so many reasons to support this bill — legal reasons, it’s constitutionally required, it makes good economic and business sense, we have support from the faith community — and we’re here to show the governor that we have the support of the majority of Hawaii’s residents."


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