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Hawaii court rejects lawmaker's legal challenge to same-sex marriage

A Hawaii court has thrown out a constitutional challenge by a Republican lawmaker attempting to stop same-sex marriages in the state
Republican lawmaker Bob McDermott

Judge Karl Sakamoto, a Circuit Court judge in Oahu, Hawaii, last week threw out a House lawmaker's legal challenge and ruled that the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act of 2013 to be constitutional under both the state and federal constitutions.

Lawmaker Bob McDermott, a Republican member of the Hawaii House of Representatives, filed a lawsuit to stop same-sex marriages before the bill was even approved.

Following lengthy sessions, the bill was passed by the state Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Neil Abercrombie in November; and took effect in December. More than 670 same-sex couples have been married and another 230 have requested licenses.

Sakamoto had twice declined to issue injunctions requested by McDermott, the first to block the governor from signing the bill and the second stopping the state from issuing same-gender marriage licenses, reported Hawaii’s Big Island Now.

Sakamoto’s ruling on Wednesday was in response to a motion filed by Hawaii Attorney General David M. Louie for a summary judgment.

Louie had issued a statement saying the latest ruling “unequivocally affirmed the right of people to marry the person they love without regard to gender.” He added, “This is a very good day for the people of Hawaii.”

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