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Judge declines to block Hawaii's new marriage equality law

Judge rules Hawaii's Legislature has the authority to define marriage

Judge declines to block Hawaii's new marriage equality law

Anti-marriage equality advocates failed in an attempt to stall Hawaii’s new gay marriage law.

Circuit Court Judge Karl Sakamoto refused to issue a temporary restraining order to delay the US island state from issuing gay marriage certificates on 2 December.

According to the Star Advertiser, the judge heard arguments for approximately an hour. While agreeing state Representative Bob McDermott, and others, had the legal standing to oppose the law, Sakamoto ruled despite a 1998 constitutional amendment allowing the legislature to keep marriage open only to heterosexual couples, elected officials still had the right to define marriage.

‘After all the legal complexities of the court’s analysis, the court will conclude that same-sex marriage in Hawaii is legal,’  Sakamoto said, as reported by the Star Advertiser.

Governor Neil Abercrombie, who had called a special session of the legislature to settle the issue, signed Senate Bill 1 this Wednesday, 13 November, making Hawaii the 15th state to have legalized same-sex marriages.

‘I’m very pleased with the court’s ruling,’ state Attorney General David Louie said. ‘I think the court clearly said that SB1 is constitutional. SB1 can go forward. The Legislature had the power to enact SB1 under its general powers as a Legislature.’

McDermott, a Republican, did not immediately say if he would appeal the ruling.

‘All you can do is all you can do, and that’s what we tried to do today. We tried to give a voice to the people of Hawaii,’ McDermott said, as reported by the Star Advertiser.

‘We fell short — and I guess that’s my fault — but we did the best we could do.’