Two women who were refused a marriage
license in Hawaii have filed a federal lawsuit, Honolulu's Star
Natasha N. Jackson and Janin Kleid
filed their lawsuit against Democratic Governor Neil Abercrombie and
the state's Department of Health in U.S. District Court on Wednesday.
The two women claim they were denied a
marriage license on November 18. They allege the state violated
their 14th Amendment rights to due process and equal
protection in denying them the right to marry.
“Our clients want to marry,” said
lawyer John J. D'Amato. “They want the state to tell us why they
can't marry. They want the state to tell us what is it about being
two women prevents them from marrying.”
In February, Abercrombie signed into
law a civil unions bill which takes effect on January 1.
"If they want to pursue that
through the legal channels that's fine but I work through the
legislative channels,” Abercrombie said on Thursday. “I think
that everyone is very very happy with our civil union's law. I'm
going to put it into effect. I signed it. We're moving forward as
quickly as we can and this January we'll be putting it into effect.
If there are changes to be made we'll take it up in the course of the
legislative sessions to come. I'm very very pleased with where we
are, where we're going and where we're headed."
Gay marriage advocates won a landmark
1993 Hawaii Supreme Court case that struck down the state's law
limiting marriage to heterosexual couples. However, in 1998 voters
approved a constitutional amendment giving lawmakers “the power to
reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples.”