Governor Linda Lingle
State Capitol, Room 415
Honolulu, Hawai`i 96813
RE: House Bill 444
Dear Governor Lingle:
I’m a gay dad who is trying to be the best husband and father that I can. I am extremely fortunate to live in a state that has had civil unions for over a decade. This simple policy of “equality” helped us thrive and build a family without having to fear the heavy hand of Government meddling with our lives and livelihoods. It is easy to forget that some of my fellow Americans have to live in places where their relationships are legally less important than others, simply and only because of who they choose to love.
I just don’t understand why this is a difficult decision for you. You said that you are concerned about “the intensity of the feeling on the part of the public,” but that doesn’t make any sense. HB 444 would not have reached your desk, especially in an election year, without the people of Hawai’i behind it.
Plus, there is no downside to the bill. Civil unions have been around for years, and have always wound up being a positive experience for everybody. No place that has had them is even considering getting rid of them. All it does is level the playing field for all your citizens.
If the people are actually confused on this issue, you have an opportunity to lead them. Your fellow Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed over 50 LGBT equality bills into law – talk to him. Republican mayor Jerry Sanders said that he supports equality because he “could just not bring myself to tell an entire group of people in our community they were less important, less worthy or less deserving … than anyone else simply because of their sexual orientation.” The former Vice President, Republican Dick Cheney said “I think that ‘freedom’ means freedom for everyone.” Former Republican President Abraham Lincoln said “those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”
Equality is a traditional value and deserves to be fostered, not vetoed. Please support HB 444.