Linda Lingle, the GOP Senate nominee from Hawaii, would back a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a heterosexual union.

Lingle expressed her support for such an amendment during a televised debate against her Democratic challenger, Hawaii Congresswoman Mazie Keiko Hirono.

As governor of Hawaii, Lingle vetoed a civil unions bill approved by lawmakers in 2010.

“Well this is a question that I have spent an awful lot of time on as governor. And I know people have very strong feelings on both sides. It's something that I've wrestled with, President Obama has wrestled with it. I would certainly support putting this constitutional amendment on the ballot. Personally, I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. But I also think the people of Hawaii should be able to make that decision,” she answered when asked her opinion on the issue.

Hirono called marriage equality a civil right and knocked Lingle for inviting gay rights supporters to her veto ceremony.

“We all remember when as governor she vetoed the civil unions bill and in doing so, before she vetoed it, she invited members of the LGBT leadership to join her. And they thought that she was going to sign that bill into law. And instead, right in front of them, the very group that had worked so hard to pass this legislation, she vetoed that bill. I thought that was extremely insensitive and disrespectful of their position,” Hirono said.

Lingle responded that she had invited both supporters and opponents to the public event. (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)