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AG NEWS RELEASE: Hawaiʻi Supreme Court Dismisses Challenge to Marriage Equality Act

Posted on May 27, 2015 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases

HONOLULU – The Hawaiʻi Supreme Court today dismissed a legal challenge raised by four individual plaintiffs to the Hawaiʻi Marriage Equality Act of 2013.  The 2013 law changed Hawaii’s statutes regarding marriage so that same-sex couples could marry.  The Supreme Court held that the plaintiffs were not harmed or injured by the Marriage Equality Act and therefore did not have standing to challenge it.

“The most important part of the Supreme Court’s ruling was its conclusion that the ‘legislature’s decision to extend the right to marry to same-sex couples did not, in any way, diminish the right to marry’ for the plaintiffs or anyone else,” said Attorney General Doug Chin, quoting the opinion.

“This is an exciting time for marriage equality in our country, as we await the United States Supreme Court’s ruling that will govern so many other States,” said Deputy Attorney General Deirdre Marie-Iha, who argued on behalf of the defendants.  “We hope that the United States Supreme Court will recognize, as our Supreme Court did today, that those who oppose marriage equality are ‘harmed not at all when others are given the liberty to choose their own life partners and are shown the respect that comes with formal marriage.’ ”

The published opinion McDermott v. Ige, SCAP-14-843, is attached.  Plaintiffs filed the lawsuit in 2013.  The current governor and state director of health’s names were substituted in as defendants after the change in administration.

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For more information, contact:

Deirdre Marie-Iha
Deputy Attorney General
(808) 586-1360
[email protected]