A U.S. District Court judge in Honolulu
has thrown out a lawsuit challenging the state's law limiting
marriage to heterosexual couples.
Judge Alan Kay said in dismissing the
suit that the issue of gay marriage should be left up to lawmakers.
“If the traditional institution of
marriage is to be restructured, as sought by Plaintiffs, it should be
done by a democratically-elected legislature or the people through a
constitutional amendment, not through judicial legislation that would
inappropriately preempt democratic deliberation regarding whether or
not to authorize same-sex marriage,” Kay wrote.
Natasha N. Jackson and Janin Kleid
claim they were denied a marriage license on November 18, 2011. The
women alleged in their filing that the state violated their 14th
Amendment rights to due process and equal protection in denying them
the right to marry. Governor Neil Abercrombie and the Hawaii
Department of Health were named as defendants.
Abercrombie, who signed a civil unions
bill into law a year after his Republican predecessor refused and
supported the lawsuit, said he disagreed with the ruling.
“I respectfully disagree and will
join the Plaintiffs if they appeal this decision,” Abercrombie
said in a statement. “To refuse individuals the right to marry
on the basis of sexual orientation or gender is discrimination in
light of our civil unions law. For me this is about fairness and
Department of Health Director Loretta
Fuddy and the Christian conservative group the Hawaii Family Forum
defended the law in court.