The business of civil unions
Just when I think the Business Roundtable’s brush with HB 444 couldn’t get any more bizarre, it does.
The Roundtable went from a June 4 letter to Gov. Linda Lingle urging her to veto the civil unions measure, to a statement late week that the executive committee stood by the recommendation despite deepening dissent among members like Time Warner, Marriott, Foodland, Starwood and Alexander & Baldwin, to a second letter to Lingle this week doing some serious backtracking.
“Unfortunately, the use of the word veto has become equivalent to some, as a position against civil unions,” wrote executive director Gary K. Kai.
That’s right up there with Bill Clinton saying it all depends on what you mean by “is.”
So in a few weeks, the headline has gone from “Top businesses oppose civil unions” to “Top businesses are divided on civil unions” to “Top businesses rally behind civil unions.”
The Roundtable, which represents 44 of Hawai’i’s biggest companies, has always been one of our most respected business groups, with views on public policy issues that have carried much weight.
But the group comes out of this fiasco looking like babbling idiots on civil unions and with its overall credibility greatly tarnished. Its attempt to provide guidance has provided only an embarrassing distraction from which the governor can take no guidance.
On the other side of the ball, gay rights groups like Citizens for Equal Rights, the Human Rights Campaign, PFLAG-Oahu and Equality Hawaii did a masterful job of turning the Roundtable by putting individual member companies on the spot, serving warning that they’ve matured into a potent political force not to be messed with.
Tags: civil unionsBoth comments and pings are currently closed.