HONOLULU — Hawaii's governor on Tuesday vetoed legislation that would have permitted same-sex civil unions, ending weeks of speculation on how she would weigh in on the contentious, emotional debate.
Republican Gov. Linda Lingle's action came on the final day she had to either sign or veto the bill, which the Hawaii Legislature had approved in late April.
"There has not been a bill I have contemplated more or an issue I have thought more deeply about during my eight years as governor than House Bill 444 and the institution of marriage," Lingle said at a news conference. "I have been open and consistent in my opposition to same-sex marriage, and find that House Bill 444 is essentially same sex marriage by another name."