Federal Court Upholds Marriage in Hawaii

From the Heritage Foundation:

Yesterday, the federal district court in Hawaii ruled that Hawaii’s definition of marriage as one man and one woman does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

This ruling comes as the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether to review multiple cases involving the issue of same-sex marriage and voters in Maryland, Minnesota, Maine, and Washington prepare to vote this fall on how marriage should be defined in those states.

In 1994, Hawaii lawmakers amended a state statute “to clarify the legislature’s intention that marriage should be limited to those of the opposite-sex.” In 1998, voters in Hawaii ratified an amendment to their state constitution that expressly states that the legislature “shall have the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples.”

In ruling yesterday that these laws do not violate the U.S. Constitution, the court explained the need for judicial restraint regarding whether to redefine marriage. “If the traditional institution of marriage is to be restructured,” the court explained, “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.”

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