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Bob McDermott

HONOLULU – Hawaii state Rep. Bob McDermott’s lawsuit to stop gay marriage from becoming law in Hawaii failed in state circuit court, but he and other plaintiffs are filing a motion for reconsideration in preparation for possible appeal.

McDermott originally filed a lawsuit October 31 seeking a Declaratory Judgment on the 1998 ballot issue on same-sex marriage.

While governor and many legislators maintain the meaning 1998 constitutional amendment gave the state legislature the power to make all decisions on same sex marriage, McDermott said the adopted constitutional amendment, and instructions from the state Office of Elections, clearly set limits on legislative authority.

McDermott said the people clearly “thought” they were voting on a legal definition of marriage as between opposite sexes only.

Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto told McDermott he could return to court once the bill became law, but could not interfere prior.

Senate Bill 1 got its final approval from the legislature on Tuesday, November 12, when the Senate passed the bill.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed Senate Bill 1, House Draft 1 into law on Wednesday, November 13, making Hawaii the 15th state to legalize gay marriage.

McDermott, a Republican who represents House District 40 on Oahu, went back to court on Thursday, November 14, to challenge the law, but Sakamoto refused to rule in McDermott’s favor.

The state Department of Health will authorize the first gay marriages as of December 2 unless further legal action by McDermott or others is successful.

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