On January 27, 2012, a same-sex couple and another individual in a same-sex relationship, all citizens of Hawaii, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Hawaii under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the state of Hawaii. The plaintiffs, represented by private attorneys, asked the court for a ...
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On January 27, 2012, a same-sex couple and another individual in a same-sex relationship, all citizens of Hawaii, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Hawaii under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the state of Hawaii. The plaintiffs, represented by private attorneys, asked the court for a declaration that the restriction of the right of marriage to opposite sex couples under § 572-1 of the H.R.S and under the "marriage amendment" violates Due Process and Equal Protection under the U.S. Constitution. Further, plaintiffs asked the court to permanently enjoin the Governor, the Director, and any person acting on their behalf from enforcing the restriction.
In 1994, the Hawaiian legislature added language to § 572-1 to specifically define marriage as between a man and a woman. In 1997, the legislature passed a "Marriage amendment" which states that only the legislature has the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples. The people of Hawaii ratified this amendment in November 1998. During the same session, the legislature also passed H.B. No. 118, the Reciprocal Beneficiaries Act, which allowed persons who are legally prohibited from marrying, the ability to register as reciprocal beneficiaries and obtain certain rights (associated with marriage).
Defendant Abercrombie admitted § 572-1 violates due process clause and equal protection clause.
On May 2, 2012 Court granted Hawaii Family Forum (HFF) motion to intervene as a defendant. Jackson v. Abercrombie, 282 F.R.D. 507 (D. Haw. 2012). Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment on June, 15, 2012, which was granted. On August 8, 2012, the Court, Alan C. Kay, Senior U.S. District Judge, granted summary judgment for defendants, holding the issue is one for the legislature to decide. On September 10, 2012, plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
On September 7, 2012, the plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal. However, on November 13, 2013, before any arguments had been heard, Governor Abercrombie signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. Beginning December 2, 2013, same-sex couples living in Hawaii and tourists can marry in the state. On October 10, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered that the district court decision be vacated and that the case be remanded with directions to dismiss. On October 23, 2014, the case was dismissed as moot.Katrina Fahey - 11/18/2013
Katherine Reineck - 02/16/2015