“We are discriminating against people. I truly feel this is a civil rights issue. We are not treating people equally,” said Rep. Mina Morita, D-14th District.
Rep. Roland Sagum, D-16th District, said he is not against people wanting those types of union.
“It happens in every family,” he said. “But the law had the word marriage in it, therefore many people in my district wanted me to vote against it.”
Sagum noted that the core issue right now is to find jobs and getting people back to work.
Rep. Jimmy Tokioka, D-15th District, said he was concerned with the use of the word “solemnization” in the bill. “It’s in there 25 times, and it’s a short bill.”
Solemnization means to “to perform with pomp or ceremony, or especially to celebrate a marriage with religious rights,” according to Merriam-Webster.
Tokioka said that, as a representative, looking at the definition of solemnization as marriage, he also looks at the definition of marriage in Hawai‘i Revised Statues, which means a union between a man and a woman.
He said if people read the bill they would understand some of the concerns from people who are concerned about the sanctity of marriage.
Tokioka said Lingle’s desire was that the issue should be voted on by all the people of Hawai‘i. But the next opportunity to have a question on a ballot will be in two years, he said.
Some lawmakers were ready to override Lingle’s veto. The Senate was ready to convene, but House Speaker Calvin Say had already made a decision last week not to bring in the House, Morita said.
If the Legislature had gone back into session, the focus would’ve been on HB 444. The House, however, would not have a super-majority of votes necessary to override Lingle’s veto, according to Tokioka.
The bill’s effective date was Jan. 1, 2010, which Tokioka said was one of the reasons Lingle thought the bill was flawed.
“That would mean if she signed a bill today, tomorrow people could walk into the Health Department and try to get a civil union, which the Health Department is not set up for,” Tokioka said.
The Senate had just enough secured votes to override the veto, but the House’s override was still necessary for an override.
Sen. Gary Hooser voted in favor of the bill. He could not be reached for comments by press time.Video above: National NBC news coverage of Lingle Veto. From (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/38124509#38124509) .