Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie says that he agrees with and will not defend against a lawsuit calling his state’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Also being sued is the license-issuing Hawaii Department of Health, who will defend themselves.
“Under current law, a heterosexual couple can choose to enter into a marriage or a civil union. A same-sex couple, however, may only elect a civil union. My obligation as Governor is to support equality under law. This is inequality, and I will not defend it,” Abercrombie said. [Health Department Director Loretta] Fuddy said it is her job to administer the law now on the books and that is what she must do. “The Department of Health is charged with implementing the law as passed by the Legislature.,” said Fuddy. “Absent any ruling to the contrary by competent judicial authority regarding constitutionality, the law will be enforced. Because I am being sued for administering the law, I will also defend it,” said Fuddy.
The Hawaii Attorney General will represent both Abercrombie and the Department of Health, which should prove interesting.
RELATED: Civil unions became legal in Hawaii at the beginning of 2012. The national marriage equality movement arguably got its first win with a 1993 state Supreme Court ruling in Hawaii.