BY JIM HOCHBERG – Several of you have written and asked about the court decision yesterday. Here are my thoughts on the decision ad what we need to do moving forward.
What was the decision yesterday by Judge Karl Sakamoto all about?
Hawaii Circuit Court Judge Karl Sakamoto came into court yesterday morning with a pre-prepared written decision which he read following an hour of oral argument over whether or not Hawaii’s new law redefining marriage to include homosexual couples is constitutional. Judge Sakamoto ruled that SB1 HD1 Act 1 of the Special Session was constitutional and denied the plaintiffs’ request to order the Health Department not to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples. The plaintiffs’ case was very well thought out and argued by Jack Dwyer, the attorney seeking to invalidate the new homosexual “marriage” law.
What happens next?
Judge Sakamoto asked many questions of both sides, seeming to be troubled by certain aspects of the 1998 constitutional amendment process. He then read the pre-written decision, ruling that the 1998 amendment did not preclude the Special Session work to redefine marriage in Hawaii. The judge rejected the rights of the people to decide on marriage.
I hope the plaintiffs consider filing an appeal of the ruling and I also hope that the people who rose up against this measure in the Special Session will stay engaged in the political process and help HFA defeat those legislators that voted yes, and help protect those legislators that voted no.
What about religious protections in the new law?
The new “marriage” law leaves citizens with religious or philosophical objections to homosexuality exposed to claims of discrimination if those citizens continue to maintain their beliefs that homosexual marriage is a fraud and something they choose not to participate in.
The new law also leaves religious organizations exposed to claims of discrimination if they decline to provide marriage counseling services to homosexual “married” couples, or decline to participate in or allow their property to host any post-“marriage” ceremony like anniversary or recommitment ceremonies.
In addition, the new law includes special protections for homosexual couples that opposite sex couples will not enjoy with respect to divorce, annulment or legal separation.
Public school teachers, students, staff and parents will be inundated with hyper-sexual instruction throughout the curriculum as has occurred in other jurisdictions where homosexual “marriage” is legalized.
This is not over and we need you to continue to stand with us. Mahalo for all of your continued efforts to protect religious freedom in Hawaii.
Jim Hochberg, Esq. is the President of Hawaii Family Advocates