State Rep. Bob McDermott on Thursday
acknowledged defeat but remained defiant after a Hawaii judge upheld
the state's newly enacted gay marriage law.
“All you can do is all you can do,”
McDermott told reporters after the hearing. “And that's what we
tried to do today. We tried to give a voice to the people of
Democratic Governor Neil Abercrombie
signed the bill into law on Wednesday, a day after it cleared the
Hawaii Legislature. The law takes effect on December 2.
governor signs gay marriage law; Takes effect Dec. 2.)
McDermott, a Republican, filed the suit
as lawmakers debated the issue during a 2-week special session called
for by Abercrombie. However, Circuit Court Judge Karl Sakamoto said
he could not hear the case until after the bill had become law.
McDermott has argued that a 1998
voter-approved constitutional amendment only allows the Legislature
to define marriage as a heterosexual union.
“What the voters thought they were
voting – the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples
only,” said McDermott. “That word 'only' is key. That was
mailed to every voter in 1998.”
also claimed that his credibility is at stake, saying that his
electability will suffer because voters will think he misled them
into believing that the amendment would prohibit the state from
legalizing same-sex marriage.
Judge Sakamoto disagreed, saying that
the Legislature has an inherent right to define marriage through the
enactment of statutes, which includes same same-sex couples as it has
“The court finds the Legislature has
the power to define and regulate marriage in the state of Hawaii.
After all the legal complexity of the court's analysis, the court
will conclude that same-sex marriage in Hawaii is legal,” Sakamoto
State Attorney General David Louie, who
defended the law in court, said that he was pleased with the judge's
“I'm very pleased with the court's
ruling,” he told reporters. “I think the court clearly said that
SB1 is constitutional. SB1 can go forward. The Legislature has the
power to enact SB1 under its general powers as a Legislature.”
McDermott has not said whether he will
pursue an appeal.