Posts Tagged ‘Lingle’

Another Angry Perspective on Lingle’s Veto of Civil Union Legislation

July 7th, 2010 1 comment

A reader and old friend writes:

Linda Lingle has failed in so many ways, my head is still spinning. When she voiced her commitment to protecting the sanctity of marriage, she failed to mention her 2 divorces.  She failed to fulfill her 2006 campaign promise to not veto legislation on same sex marriage.  She failed as an executive, unable to decide based on her own principles or the arguments of proponents and opponents.  She failed to see the consequences of not deciding on this issue.  She condemned representative democracy and suggested governance by referendum (or legalized “mob rule” in my view), making herself redundant. If the governor should not make a decision on this issue, why should she on any issue?  In so doing, she confirms her failure as a student of history.  Her former place of residence, California, is virtually a failed state due to the limitations that ballot initiatives have imposed on its governments and its citizens.

Don’t overlook the fact that the Hawaii legislation permits “civil unions”, not civil marriage.  Separate but equal is unacceptable when based on race; it is equally unacceptable based on gender or sexual orientation.  We are being worn down arguing with the insane and unreasonable.  We should not lose sight of the notion that we are looking for equality not something like equality.  Accepting something less in one state (Hawaii’s civil union) poses a threat to legal same sex marriage in other states.  It is a constant reminder that something less is okay.

‘Nuff said.

Live Blogging Lingle’s Civil Union Announcement

July 6th, 2010 1 comment

It’s weird. I’m sitting here looking at the seal of Hawaii, soon to be occluded by the Governor, Linda Lingle, who’s set to make her announcement. I guess this is a live blog….

That seal translates into English, roughly, as “The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.” And one of the two figures on the seal is the Goddess of Liberty. Let’s see whether the governor’s physical blocking of the seal also represents a symbolic obliteration of the lives of her LGBT citizens.

We’ve just heard that she’s to appear in “a minute or two,” followed by the now-ritual plea to silence phones. The only other sound has been a persistent cough.

Here she comes, greeting the media with an “Aloha.” She’s invited representatives on both sides of the bill. Now she’s asking people not to react until she’s done. Enough, already….What’s her decision?

Now she’s thanking everyone.

She’s vetoing the bill. It’s a good thing, it turns out, that we can’t see the seal or the Goddess of Liberty.

She has been “open and consistent” in her opposition to same-sex marriage, and this is the same thing by another name.

She’s become “convinced that this issue is of such societal importance that it deserves to be decided by all the people of Hawaii.”

So much for representative government. There are some issues that call for direct democracy, she says (without specifying which ones, or how that’s decided, or why people get to vote on others’ rights) and now she’s blaming the legislature for its maneuvering — maneuvering, by the way, that’s common. Now she’s criticizing the Democrats, as though she’s not signed bills passed by similar maneuvering in the past. This is just a diversion from the reasons for her decision, as she all but admits later (during Q and A). (I’m now editing this post.)

Now she’s blathering on about how deeply people of all ages and beliefs feel about the issue. A “big island” man had moved her by his story telling him about coming out to his traditional family, but was similarly moved by a mother who was concerned about her kids learning about same-sex couples and how they’re the same as opposite-sex couples.


Definition of marriage — we’re all invested, not just same-sex couples. Well, that’s true, but she doesn’t stop to consider the disparate impact on the two groups.

This should be decided “behind the curtain of the voting booth” — in other words, in complete and safe anonymity. This is the dignified approach. Dignity? Give me a fucking break. Would she be saying this about interracial marriage? That we should respect people’s rights to vote on others’ civil rights? But she doesn’t see this as a civil rights issue, obviously.

And then she has the nerve to talk about the “honor” of the political process.


She made her decision about a week ago, and had gone back and forth because of the strength of the arguments on the pro side. But they’re not arguments she bought.

Aren’t you just passing the buck? You’re supposed to make difficult decisions and not pass it along to the voters.

Unanswerable, really. More boilerplate about the will of the voters.

Will this define your term as governor?

It will be the most discussed, but then ticked off a list of her accomplishments.


I really don’t want to listen to the rest of this, beyond noting that she’s again passing the buck. She says she respects the same-sex couples who came before her, but ultimately that’s just not true.

Yes, I was wrong in my prediction of earlier today. But that’s because I thought that Lingle would understand that the feelings of those directly affected would matter more than the sentiments of those worried about some possible discussion they’d have to have with their kids — discussions they should already be having, given the reality of same-sex couples and their families.

History will judge her harshly, as it should.

One last note: She predicts that the civil union issue will end up on the ballot. Maybe that’s right, and if so, maybe the electorate will do the right thing. But we shouldn’t need that to happen. It’s a shame the simple power of equality held no sway over this governor. May her final days in office be tortured by doubt.

Prediction: Lingle Signs Civil Unions Bill

July 6th, 2010 No comments

Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle must decide today whether to sign the civil unions bill enacted by the legislature at the end of April. (Hawaii time is six hours behind EDT, so it’s only 10:30 am there right now).  After wrestling with the issue for more than two months now, this is it: under state law, today’s the last day for her decision. Here‘s a quote from yesterday that makes me optimistic:

“I really thought about this more than I thought about any other piece of legislation and any other issue that’s faced society,” said Gov. Lingle. “I don’t know the exact number but I think it’s running 60-40 against but as I’m going to talk about tomorrow — that isn’t what helped me to make a decision on this it was really the depth of feeling on both sides — so I look forward to sharing that with everybody tomorrow.”

Why optimistic? It seems to me that the effect — and by extension, the depth of feeling — would be greater on the side of those directly affected than by those whose lives will be at most peripherally affected, by her decision. And the civil union offers a compromise that a governor — especially one about to leave office — can and should have the courage to offer. This moderate Republican, in a dark blue state, might be a bellwether for her party on this issue of fundamental fairness. But don’t count on that, given the dismal state of the GOP these days.