East Hawaii News

Hawaii Same-Sex Marriage Law Constitutional, Judge Rules

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An Oahu judge has ruled against a lawsuit challenging the law passed last year legalizing same-sex marriages.

First Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto ruled Wednesday that the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act of 2013 is constitutional under both the state and federal constitutions.

Hawaii Attorney General David M. Louie issued a statement saying the ruling “unequivocally affirmed the right of people to marry the person they love without regard to gender.”

“This is a very good day for the people of Hawaii,” Louie said.

Following lengthy sessions, the bill was passed by the state Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Neil Abercrombie in November.

A lawsuit challenging the move was filed by Rep. Bob McDermott, a Republican from Oahu, before the bill was even approved.

Sakamoto twice previously 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.

Sakamoto’s ruling Wednesday was in response to a motion filed by Louie for a summary judgment.

Since the law went into effect on Dec. 2, more than 670 same-sex couples have been married and another 230 have requested licenses.

McDermott has said he intends to appeal the ruling.


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