US: Hawaii judge defies ‘legal challenge’ against same-sex marriage law
A Hawaii judge on Thursday denied a request from a House Republican to issue a temporary block against the state’s new law legalising same-sex marriage.
However, state Republican Bob McDermott attempted to block the measure on Thursday, saying it conflicted with a 1998 voter-passed constitutional amendment limiting marriages to opposite-sex couples only.
Pacific Business News reports Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto refused to even consider the motion, and denied the requested injunction after an hour’s debate from both sides.
The Honolulu court quickly ruled the act was not restricted by any prior amendments and that lawmakers could allow same-sex couples to marry.
Mr Sakamoto said: “After all the legal complexities of the court’s analysis, the court will conclude that same-sex marriage in Hawaii is legal.”
In a statement, Attorney General David Louie added: “We are extremely pleased that the judge agreed with us and found that the bill as enacted is constitutionally sound.”
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Mr McDermott was one of six House Republicans to vote against the equal marriage bill last week.
Earlier this week, President Barack Obama applauded his birthplace Hawaii for becoming the 15th US state to legalise same-sex marriage, saying “I have always been proud to have been born in Hawaii, and today’s vote makes me even prouder.”
The President issued his statement immediately after the state Senate gave its final approval to the bill on Tuesday.
He said: “With today’s vote, Hawaii joins a growing number of states that recognise that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters should be treated fairly and equally under the law.
“Whenever freedom and equality are affirmed, our country becomes stronger. By giving loving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry if they choose, Hawaii exemplifies the values we hold dear as a nation.”
Obama added that he has “always been proud to have been born in Hawaii, and today’s vote makes me even prouder.”