Judge Refuses to Stop Gay-Marriage Bill From Becoming Law
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by Dave Smith
An Oahu judge today refused to issue a restraining order that would prevent Gov. Neil Abercrombie from signing into law the same-gender marriage bill currently under consideration by the state Legislature.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that First Circuit Court Judge Karl Sakamoto made the ruling today in a lawsuit filed last week by state Rep. Bob McDermott and others.
Sakamoto said he would hear motions challenging the law if its passes the Legislature and is signed by Abercrombie, the newspaper reported.
The lawsuit hinges on whether state lawmakers can extend marriage to same-sex couples after voters in 1998 approved an amendment to Hawaii’s constitution that gave the Legislature the power to allow marriages only between a man and a woman.
The 1998 amendment was introduced after Hawaii’s Supreme Court ruled that the state’s constitution did not prevent the issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
McDermott, a Republican representing Oahu’s Ewa area, today told the newspaper that the public should vote on whether to allow same-gender marriages, a common theme among gay-marriage opponents during the current special legislative session.
If the bill makes it into law, McDermott vowed to return to court to challenge its constitutionality.
The lawsuit is just one of several methods opponents have been using to try to slow or stop the bill’s progress, as detailed on this Facebook page. On this page, opponents explain how to overwhelm the House with testimony on “behalf” of others “in order to waste time!”
Others methods have included vocal demonstrations at the Capitol during deliberations, to the point where those inside cannot proceed due to the noise.