Thursday, August 09, 2012

Federal Court Upholds Hawaii's Ban On Same-Sex Marriage

In Jackson v. Abercrombie, (D HI, Aug. 8, 2012), an Hawaii federal district court, in a 120-page opinion, upheld as constitutional Hawaii's laws that bar same-sex marriage.  The court held that rational basis review applies in the federal equal protection and due process challenges to the state constitutional and statutory provisions involved.  The court explained:
The right to marry someone of the samesex, is not "objectively, deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition" and thus it is not a fundamental right..... Hawaii’s marriage laws do not treat males and females differently as a class; consequently, the laws do not discriminate on the basis of gender.  The United States Supreme Court has never held that heightened scrutiny applies to classifications based on sexual orientation....
[T]he legislature could rationally conclude that defining marriage as a union between a man and woman provides an inducement for opposite-sex couples to marry, thereby decreasing the percentage of children accidently [sic.] conceived outside of a stable, long-term relationship.... The legislature could also rationally conclude that other things being equal, it is best for children to be raised by a parent of each sex.
Hawaii has enacted a law providing for civil unions that give partners all the same state legal rights as married couples. AP reports on the decision. Alliance Defending Freedom links to the pleadings in the case.