Hawaii’s republican governor cocks everything up for everyone

Governor Linda Lingle of Hawaii — who I remember listening to at the RNC, making the absurd argument that Sarah Palin had the necessary experience to be President and Barack Obama was dumb because he was a community organizer — has vetoed a law passed by Hawaii’s legislature that would create civil unions for homosexuals. Her reasoning is that it shouldn’t be up to the legislature and her to create civil unions; it should be put to a direct vote. Which is bullshit for many reasons, including that if she’s actually right that this issue should be put to the people, then it’s equally true that she’s doing the Court’s job by making the call about who should make the call.

She has every right veto the law, but she should own up to why she’s doing it and not hide behind imagined procedure.

Meanwhile, here’s an apt explanation from a judge for why this is definitely not an issue for direct vote:

“It’s beyond problematic,” said Steven Levinson, a retired associate justice of the state Supreme Court, whose daughter is a lesbian. “By definition, civil rights can’t be defined by the majority. That’s why we have a Bill of Rights, both at the federal and the state level. By their very nature, individual liberties are intended to be counter-majoritarian.”

Some day soon, even the population at large will roundly affirm everyone’s right to marry, and the Linda Lingles of the world will not be remembered kindly.

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