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Hawaii defends marriage

Posted: 8/8/12

This news post is a placeholder and will be expanded on when I have a better understanding of the Hawaii's recent (8/8/12) ruling (pdf) defending its marriage laws in District Court.  

The reason this is newsworthy is not the case, but the reasoning used in the ruling and the background cases discussed.  I want to correlate this with Texas ruling (pdf), (alt) in regards to same sex divorces.

In Hawaii there is an amendment to their state constitution that allows the legislature to limit marriage to one man and one woman and to prohibit the courts from taking it upon themselves to redefine marriage, which has happened in several other states (Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts).  To counter this same sex marriage activists in that state followed a commonly used method of getting certain key legislative members on their side.  In this case the governor.  They then created a law legalizing civil unions.  Immediately after the law is made same sex couples sue the state claiming 14th amendment violations of due process and equal protection.  In short, the plaintiffs claim that the civil unions law treats them as second class citizens and nothing short of redefining marriage will satisfy.

In this case the judge responded differently than the courts in Iowa, Connecticut, and Massachusetts which in effect ruled that homosexuals and their behavior is actually a protected class and should be treated as an ethnicity, which is dubious reasoning at best.

Hawaii district court judge Alan C. Kay states that same sex marriage is not a fundamental right rooted in our country's history nor is homosexuality a suspect class.  Hawaii's laws also do not discriminate based on gender.  The state does have a vested interest in limiting marriage to one man and one woman because it promotes procreation within a stable long term environment which provides for both a mother and a father for the offspring.

Because the definition of marriage is hotly debated the judiciary does not have the authority to circumvent the legislature's process for defining what constitutes a marriage.  Since it is at least debatable the matter should be left to the legislature as opposed to being circumvented by the judiciary.

I very much suspect this decision will be appealed to the Ninth Circuit.  If it is appealed the Ninth Circuit is required to hear the case.

Work in progress

There are 120 pages of text to analyze and I want to read through it carefully, so it may take a bit before this news post is complete.  I suspect it may be lengthy compared to the usual length of my news posts.  I don't expect there will be much major news in regards to marriage issues till this October, so I have some time to devote to this post.

ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

How does judge Alan C. Kay explain other judges who have ruled differently in very similar cases?
How does he define due process?
How does he define equal protection?

Last Updated: 8/27/12

TAGS: audio, hawaii, marriage, pdf
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