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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 15, 2010

Hawaii GOP OKs resolution urging Lingle to veto civil-unions bill

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Jason Seaborn, of Hale'iwa, and his son, Trent, 2, cheer for Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona at the 2010 Hawai`i Republican Party State Convention today in Waikiki.

REBECCA BREYER | The Honolulu Advertiser

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State Republicans, meeting today at their convention in Waikiki, approved a resolution urging Gov. Linda Lingle to veto HB 444, the civil-unions bill.

The vote came after Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona derided what he called the last-minute maneuvering in the House to approve civil unions, describing them as the "equivalent" to same-sex marriage.

Lingle has until July 6 to veto the measure, HB 444, sign it or allow it to become law without her signature.

Many Republicans at the convention showed what they think she should do. They wore red stickers that say: "Veto HB444."

The measure would give same-sex and heterosexual couples the ability to enter into civil unions and enjoy the same rights as married couples under state law.

With the Hawai'i Republican Party's convention in full swing at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu. Rep. Gene Ward joked that, being in the House minority caucus of six, he is not used to seeing so many Republicans.

"We're here to huddle, to think, to plan, to debate, to know who we are and where we are going," said Ward.

He said that a victory by Honolulu City Councilman Djou in the May 22 special election to fill the remainder of former Congressman Neil Abercrombie's term would be bigger than U.S. Sen. Scott Brown's win in Massachusetts.

Brown, a Republican, stunned national Democrats with his victory in traditionally Democratic Massachusetts in January.

Aiona, the GOP candidate for governor, was introduced to the convention as the crowd chanted "Duke!" "Duke!" "Duke!"

Aiona promised that, as governor, he would lower fees, reduce regulation and conduct a management and financial audit of the state Department of Education. He vowed that he would continue state investments in alternative energy and science, technology, engineering and math in education.