From Hawaii Family Advocates May 6, 2014
The press release (see below) by Attorney General David Louie announces that the State of Hawaii is quitting its defense of the Jackson vs. Abercrombie case based on the special session passage of same sex marriage in Hawaii. If you recall, the Jackson case was filed by two lesbians in 2011, claiming that Hawaii's marriage statute that reserved marriage to opposite sex couples violated their rights under the U.S. Constitution. You may recall that the lesbians sued Governor Abercrombie and the Director of the Department of Health. The Governor responded to the law suit in court by filing his Answer to the Complaint taking the position that the lesbians were correct.
The Health Department disagreed and Answered that the law did not violate the lesbians rights. Because the Governor can fire the Health Department Director, Hawaii Family Forum received court permission to become a defendant in the case to assure that the law was thoroughly defended. HFF and the Health Department prevailed at the trial court and the case was thrown out.
The Governor (although the State of Hawaii prevailed against the lesbians) and the two lesbians appealed. The case is currently pending at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Attorney General reports that he is not going to have the Health Department defend the case any longer because of the new same sex marriage law from special session. However, please note that Representative McDermott has a law suit pending at this time in state court challenging the constitutionality of that ssm law based on the language of the state constitution that says "The legislature shall have the power to reserve marriage to opposite sex couples." Until that law suit is resolved by a final binding appeal, the ssm law is not presumed to be valid and the Attorney General took an oath to uphold the Constitution and laws of the State of Hawaii. His decision to abandon the defense of the Jackson case is a blatant violation of that oath and his duty.
Please contact the Governor and Attorney General at the contact information below. Please call, email and visit them in person if possible on this issue. You can send an email easily by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.
Contact David Louie 808-586-1282
Department of the Attorney General
425 Queen Street
Honolulu, HI 96813 (Map)
Telephone: (808) 586-1282
Fax: (808) 586-1239
Contact the Governor's Office
Office of the Governor
The Honorable Neil Abercrombie
Governor, State of Hawaii
Executive Chambers, State Capitol
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Phone: (808) 586-0034 | Fax: (808) 586-0006
Finally, make contact via media outlets of every kind on line. Blog blog blog.
Thank you for your attention!
President, Hawaii Familly Advocates
Click the link below to log in and send your message: https://www.votervoice.net/link/target/hiff/4zzrGJMQE.aspx
* * * * *
McDermott: legal fate of same-sex marriage still not settled
News Release from Office of Rep Bob McDermott May 7, 2014
Today State Representative Bob McDermott expressed disappointment that the State Attorney General is no longer defending the State of Hawaii in the Jackson vs. Abercrombie case based on the passage of same sex marriage in Hawaii.
This denial of our right to be represented by our Attorney General is outrageous. He is essentially, imposing his own personal view favoring same sex marriage against his role as the Attorney General of the State of Hawaii. Who does he think he works for? Again, the State of Hawaii, WON at the Federal District Court upholding Hawaii’s previous Marriage Law limiting marriage to one man and one woman and the homosexual plaintiffs are seeking an appeal at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The 9th Circuit is withholding any action, UNTIL, our case is decided finally. They know our case is the lynchpin for their case.
McDermott said, “As long as my law suit is pending and not resolved by a final binding appeal, the Same Sex Marriage law is NOT presumed to be valid and the Attorney General took an oath to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the State of Hawaii. His decision and that of pro same-sex marriage Abercrombie administration is not surprising, just par for the course from a group of politicians who think they know better than the people."
Our case is STILL pending before the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals. Has the Attorney General thrown in the towel? NO, he remains fighting us. The issue is whether the State Constitution Article 1, Section 23, overwhelmingly approved by the voters in 1998, restricted the Legislatures customary powers to only grant marriage to one man and one woman. Thousands of people believe that is what they voted for in 1998. Over 73% voted to limit the legislature’s power. The Amendment has NEVER been challenged. And, the Constitution is clear, all political power rests with the people, not the courts, not the legislature, and not the Governor. It is self-serving actions of Attorney General David Loui that remains us of why we should have an independent Elected Attorney General.
The Ultra-liberal Abercrombie administration loves the law – when it suits their needs. They just do not want the people to vote on major societal changes, like the redefinition of marriage.
In 1998, the people of Hawaii clearly intended to make same-sex illegal through constitutional amendment. US Supreme Court Case law makes it clear that voter intent must be taken into account regarding constitutional amendments. The courts and the Constitution have continually said that the People have the ultimate say in the order of the society.
I speak for the majority of the public who feel that the special session was a sham and wanted a vote on the matter. It is my hope that there is a chance that the peoples' voices will be heard.
News Release from Office of Hawaii Attorney General May 5, 2014
HONOLULU – Attorney General David M. Louie announced today that the State of Hawaii will no longer defend the old law that defined marriage as only between a man and a woman.
“Last year, Hawaii changed the law to ensure marriage equality for same-sex couples,” said Louie. “Its passage has turned the page in history on the issue of discrimination. There are no longer grounds to defend the previous law.”
As a result, the state, through Director of Health Dr. Linda Rosen, will stop defending the case of Jackson v. Abercrombie in federal court. The Jackson case was originally filed in 2011 by a same-sex couple who sought to declare Hawaii’s old marriage law unconstitutional under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the United States Constitution. In response, the state filed two separate answers, with two separate teams of lawyers. One team, representing Gov. Neil Abercrombie, agreed with the plaintiffs and asserted that the old law was unconstitutional. Another team, representing then Director of Health Loretta Fuddy, defended the law on the grounds that it was constitutional. The Hawaii Family Forum, an outside advocacy group, intervened in the case and filed papers also defending the law as constitutional. Judge Alan Kay upheld the constitutionality of the law in 2012, and the case was then appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The appellate court recently called for further briefing about the case. The state, through Director Rosen, will now decline to further defend the law. The state, through Gov. Abercrombie, will continue to assert that the old law was unconstitutional.
Attorney General Louie explained his reasoning as to why the state, through Director Rosen, has changed its position. “The law, policy and public sentiment in Hawaii has clearly and dramatically changed in favor of marriage equality,” said Louie. In November 2013, the Legislature passed the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act (Act 1, Second Special Session of 2013). The bill was signed into law by Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Nov. 13, 2013, and took effect on Dec. 2, 2013. Since December, more than a thousand same sex couples have been married in Hawaii. “In light of these developments, it is inappropriate to continue to defend the old law,” he stated.
“Recent court rulings by the United States Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit have made it clear that prohibitions against marriages between same-sex couples are unconstitutional,” added Louie.
In United States v. Windsor, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a portion of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibited federal recognition of marriages between same-sex couples. In its reasoning, the court noted that the principal purpose of DOMA was to “impose inequality” and placed same-sex couples in a “second-tier marriage” that demeaned and humiliated such couples and their (sic) children.
In SmithKline Beecham Corp. v. Abbott Laboratories, the Ninth Circuit held that “heightened scrutiny applies to classifications based on sexual orientation.” Both of these cases were decided after Judge Kay’s ruling in the Jackson case. Under the “heightened scrutiny” standard, which is stricter than the “rational basis” standard applied by Judge Kay, laws banning marriages between same-sex couples are certain to fail. Since the Windsor decision, federal district courts in Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Utah and Illinois have held that laws banning marriages between same-sex couples are unconstitutional.
“Finally, terminating the defense of the old law by Director Rosen is simply the right thing to do at this point,” stated Louie. Other state attorneys general in California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Nevada, Oregon and Kentucky have declined to defend state laws prohibiting marriages between same-sex couples. U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. also refused to defend DOMA, and has encouraged state attorneys general not to defend laws in the rare cases where they believe such laws are discriminatory and unconstitutional.
“I support the decision of the Attorney General in this matter,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
Director Linda Rosen added, “I applaud the decision of the Attorney General, as the law has changed for the better, and it is no longer necessary to perpetuate discrimination. The Hawaii Department of Health has been pleased to implement the new law and help more than 1,400 same-sex couples obtain marriage licenses over the past five months.”