Thank you for emailing Governor Linda Lingle's office. A recent article in WorldNetDaily.com (October 26, 2008) claiming that Hawai‘i Governor Linda Lingle sealed Sen. Barack Obama's birth certificate is false.
Under Hawai‘i's state law (Hawai‘i Revised Statutes §338-18), copies of vital records may only be released to those who have a tangible relationship to the person whose record is being sought. Neither the Governor's office, nor any other office in the State of Hawai'i, can provide information concerning birth certificates, or produce birth certificates, to anyone except those who are listed in the law governing vital statistics records.
Vital statistics records, such as birth certificates, are protected by strict confidentiality requirements. Specifically, pursuant to section 338-18, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (HRS), the Department of Health, which maintains these records, may not allow the inspection of a birth certificate, or issue a certified copy of a birth certificate, or disclose any information contained in a birth certificate, unless it is satisfied that the applicant has a direct and tangible interest in the record:
(a) To protect the integrity of vital statistics records, to ensure their proper use, and to ensure the efficient and proper administration of the vital statistics system, it shall be unlawful for any person to permit inspection of, or to disclose information contained in vital statistics records, or to copy or issue a copy of all or part of any such record, except as authorized by this part or by rules adopted by the department of health.
(b) The department shall not permit inspection of public health statistics records, or issue a certified copy of any such record or part thereof, unless it is satisfied that the applicant has a direct and tangible interest in the record. The following persons shall be considered to have a direct and tangible interest in a public health statistics record:
(1) The registrant;
(2) The spouse of the registrant;
(3) A parent of the registrant;
(4) A descendant of the registrant;
(5) A person having a common ancestor with the registrant;
(6) A legal guardian of the registrant;
(7) A person or agency acting on behalf of the registrant;
(8) A personal representative of the registrant's estate;
(9) A person whose right to inspect or obtain a certified copy of the record is established by an order of a court of competent jurisdiction;
(10) Adoptive parents who have filed a petition for adoption and who need to determine the death of one or more of the prospective adopted child's natural or legal parents;
(11) A person who needs to determine the marital status of a former spouse in order to determine the payment of alimony;
(12) A person who needs to determine the death of a nonrelated co-owner of property purchased under a joint tenancy agreement; and
(13) A person who needs a death certificate for the determination of payments under a credit insurance policy.
You can find the complete statute at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol06_Ch0321-0344/HRS0338/HRS_0338-0018.htm
Office of Governor Lingle