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Outraged: Linda Lingle vetoes Civil Unions bill and compares gay marriage to incest

Earlier this week, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle vetoed the state's Civil Union bill designed to give all couples access to the economic and legal benefits of marriage. I suppose this is not too surprising, considering the fact that she is a Republican. Still, her explanation as to why she vetoed the bill makes me pretty upset.

Linda Lingle, who can be found in Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia and This Week in History, is the second Jewish woman to become a state Governor (after Madeline Kunin, Gov. of VT). She is also the first woman to be Governor of Hawaii, and has been praised for being so openly Jewish while in office.

The Daily Femme calls attention to some comments she made on a local radio station (listen here). For one thing, she believes the issue should be decided by a direct vote to the Hawaiian people instead of the legislature. As many have noted, if we left decisions about slavery and segregation up to a popular vote, progress would have been a lot slower coming. As The Daily Femme argues, our "indirect democracy was one of the protections our founding fathers established for us against unfounded, deep seeded, and widespread prejudice. Like, just for example, homophobia."

But what is even more upsetting is this comment, in which Governor Lingle seems to compare gay marriage to incest:

“For those people who want to make this into a civil rights issue, and of course those in favor of the bill, they see it as a civil rights issue. And I understand them drawing that conclusion. But people on the other side would point out, well, we don’t allow other people to marry even — it’s not a civil right for them. First cousins couldn’t marry, or a brother and a sister and that sort of thing. So there are restrictions, not to put it in the exact same category. But the bottom line is, it really can’t be a civil right if we are restricting it in other cases, and it’s been found to be legal in those other cases, that the restrictions (are constitutional).”

Comparing gay marriage to incest, or people marrying animals (another favorite), is ludicrous, insulting, and rage-inducing. But the bill was a Civil Unions bill, not a marriage bill. I'm still having trouble wrapping my head around her argument that Civil Unions are not a civil rights issue. As for the rest, well, I think this particular "Jewess with Attitude" needs her attitude adjusted. Badly.

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1 Comment

I love reading the daily femme and really happy you featured this important issue because it is COMPLETELY ridiculous of Lingle to make such a comparison. It's clear she isn't very strong when it comes to being a govenor and I hope this isn't the last of this discussion.

Linda Lingle
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Linda Lingle, first woman Governor of Hawaii.
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How to cite this page

Berkenwald, Leah. "Outraged: Linda Lingle vetoes Civil Unions bill and compares gay marriage to incest." 13 July 2010. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on January 20, 2018) <>.


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