I first heard the news about Gov. Lingle’s not-so-surprising veto of the civil unions bill from a young man I work with, just as I was closing up the food pantry yesterday afternoon.
“There are a lot of angry people on Facebook and Twitter right now,” he said, and when I asked why, he told me of the veto.
“There’s so much fear out there,” he said, shaking his head in disbelief, and I could only commiserate. We talked for a while, wondering why people are so threatened by homosexuals, why people are making a civil rights issue into a religious issue, why people are so ignorant, why people who supposedly claim to love God have so much hate in their hearts.
Then this morning, scanning the Star-Advertiser's coverage, I felt my stomach tighten as a I read Dan Nakaso’s article on the crowd’s reaction:
They broke out in song and cries of "Hallelujah, Jesus" as word spread instantly yesterday that Gov. Linda Lingle had vetoed Hawaii's civil-unions bill.
Some of the dozens of opponents of House Bill 444 who had gathered outside of Lingle's Capitol office dropped to their knees, threw their arms in the air and wept openly, crying, "Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus!"
What the hell does Jesus have to do with this? And what the hell is Jesus doing in a discussion about the rights of American citizens? I think what really disturbs me about this issue — besides Lingle’s decision to keep gays in their second-class status — is how it reveals the growing political power of churches in our supposedly secular nation, and the way duplicitous politicians like Lingle pander to that crowd:
And while some will disagree with my decision to veto this bill, I hope most will agree that the flawed process legislators used does not reflect the dignity this issue deserves, and that a vote by all the people of Hawaii is the best and fairest way to address an issue that elicits such deeply felt emotion by those both for and against.
Of course, the veto got her name out there in the international media and fits right in with the reactionary, intolerant role she adopted in forming the pro-Superferry “unified command.”
Still, it’s kinda funny she didn’t have any problem with closed door politics and excluding the public from important decisions when she was the one doing it.
Overall, when you look at the three issues that defined her term in office — the corrupt debacle of the Superferry, the continued oppression of gays and the gutting of public education through Furlough Fridays — it’s pretty darn pathetic. Sounds like she’s ready to hit the big time.
While we’re on the topics of closed door politics, the Council will take up the issue of the Kaakaaniu (Larsen’s Beach, Lepeuli) access in an executive session in a “special council meeting” this morning. It’s scheduled for 8:30 a.m., which is before the Hoike cameras are turned on, so even if they let people testify, the public will never hear it. [Update: The executive session went until 10:15 a.m., so the public testimony that followed it was recorded on Hoike.]
As I recall, when I first reported that Waioli Corp. had offered the county another easement — as opposed to the dedicated, fee simple access we currently have, but that the county allowed to fall into disrepair — with the caveat that it had to accept liability, someone in comments claimed I was making it all up.
Yet here it is, all wrapped up by Beth and Bernard behind closed doors and presented for the Council's review behind its closed doors…..