In the thread to another post, a reader asks a fair question, though inappropriately placed and expressed, “why isn’t GayPatriot discussing Republican Governor Lingle’s decision to veto the Civil Union bill in Hawaii, therefore effectively preventing civil unions?“* First, if this fellow read the blog, he’d know why I’ve been blogging slower than usual. I’m just now returning from a family vacation, including a detour to Disneyland, with two nieces and a nephew on their way back to Ohio after spending some time with Goofy as well as meeting the Disney characters.
Now, while I have read about Governor Lingle’s veto of the bill in Hawai’i, I haven’t had time to review the reasons she gave (nor consider the actual text of the legislation itself). On the surface, this looks bad. From what (little) I know about the legislation, I would rather she had signed the bill.
That said, let me offer three reasons why she may have vetoed it–and they relate to the paucity of Republicans backing repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT). Indeed, these reasons first occurred to me in the wake of the House vote for repeal:
1. Gay organizations tend to ignore Republicans when lobbying legislators and other elected officials. And in those cases, when they do approach them, the “speak the wrong language,” talking in terms more appropriate for a college campus and pushing notions (i.e., abstraction of state-regulated equality) at odds with Republican ideas.
2. There is no gay Republican or conservative organization currently lobbying on these issues, with Log Cabin in a state of transition and GOProud just getting off the ground.
3. Related to 1. above. Given the liberal bias of gay organizations, with many all but serving as front groups for the Democratic Party (and its state and local affiliates), many Republican elected officials believe they have little to gain by votes on issues of concern to the gay community. They also see votes against such issues as “freebies,” chances to score points with social conservatives (more inclined to support Republicans) without risking losing support among independents.
Obviously, each of these points, particularly the last needs fleshing out. But, they do get at the problem and point to areas where gay Republicans and conservatives need to direct their efforts.
*This reader doesn’t quite express how this bill prevents civil unions. Guess he figures if the government doesn’t recognize his union, he’s not free to enter into it on his own and secure recognition of his relationship among his circle of friends and acquaintances and within private organizations and enterprises.