Friday, November 15, 2013

Hawaii Court Upholds State's New Marriage Equality Law

In Hawaii, a trial court judge rejected a state constitutional challenge to the Hawaii's marriage equality law that was signed by the governor yesterday. According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Circuit Court Judge Karl Sakamoto held yesterday that the legislature has the inherent authority to define marriage. In 1998, Hawaii voters approved an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment.  But unlike amendments in a number of other states, Hawaii's Art. I, Sec. 23 merely permits the state legislature to reserve marriage to opposite sex couples. Plaintiffs in the case, including a state representative, a Christian pastor and the head of Hawaii's Christian Coalition argued that in the 1998 amendment, voters intended to ban same-sex marriage. The court rejected this argument.