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Wave 'Aloha' to traditional marriage

Oral arguments for summary judgment will be heard tomorrow in a Hawaii lawsuit that not only challenges the state’s constitutional amendment preserving traditional marriage, but also asserts the new “civil unions” law doesn’t go far enough.

According to court documents, Hawaii was poised to become the first state in the union to permit same-sex marriage back in 1996, when a Hawaii Supreme Court ruling found the state had no compelling interest to limit marriage to its traditional definition. But while a temporary stay on the ruling was in place, the voters of Hawaii passed a constitutional amendment giving the state legislature the right to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples.

That amendment has held to this day and deflected attempts to redefine marriage until a new statute permitting civil unions of homosexual couples went into effect Jan. 1 of this year.

Now a pair of homosexual couples in the case of Jackson v. Abercrombie are challenging the state’s marriage law and constitutional amendment. One of the couples in the case, Gary Bradley and his unnamed, foreign-born partner, have been joined in a civil union since the beginning of the year, but now demand full status as “married” spouses.

“The state’s denying same-sex partners the right to marry is injurious and demeaning,” the couples’ case insists, “because … the withholding of the right to marry constitutes the rebuke that same-sex relationships are not entitled to the same respect as those of heterosexual couples.”

As for the new civil unions law, the case declares, “Marriage is a special and unique status, accorded unique meanings and traditions. … There is no substitute for marriage.”

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie has refused to defend the state’s constitutional amendment in court, but the Hawaii Family Forum and the Alliance Defending Freedom have been permitted to step in.

“Hawaii has been defending against this redefinition since 1993,” said James Hochberg, one of nearly 2,100 attorneys in the ADF alliance, who is serving as local counsel on behalf of Hawaii Family Forum. “Our state should not now succumb to demands that we ignore marriage as society’s time-tested way to bless as many children as possible with both a mom and a dad. Marriage expresses the truth that men and women bring distinct, irreplaceable gifts to family life.”

ADF Litigation Counsel Holly Carmichael added that the sudden attack on the brand-new civil unions law is evidence that homosexual activists will stop at nothing less than a complete redefinition of marriage.

“Society should protect and strengthen marriage, not undermine it as this lawsuit clearly seeks to do,” Carmichael said in a statement. “Anyone who believes so-called ‘civil unions’ will preserve marriage need only look at this lawsuit and countless others. Civil unions are a Trojan horse used by activists to undermine marriage, not protect it. Hawaii’s marriage statute and constitutional amendment uphold marriage, and we are seeking to give those protections an adequate defense.”

ADF Legal Counsel Dale Schowengerdt will make oral arguments in the case before U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii tomorrow.