Maui News

Appeals Court Declares Gay Marriage Lawsuit Moot

October 22, 2014, 7:27 AM HST
* Updated October 22, 7:37 AM
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Photo/image by Wendy Osher.

Photo/image by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a lower court decision in a Hawaiʻi marriage equality case, declaring the lawsuit moot.

The lawsuit was filed by a same-sex couple who wanted to obtain marriage licenses, and argued that Hawaiʻi’s 2011 civil union law was unconstitutional because it prevented them from receiving the same benefits of legally married couples.

Since then, Hawaiʻi passed the Marriage Equality Act, which became law in December of 2013, that effectively legalized same sex marriage in the state.

A group of supporters celebrated the Senate passage of SB1 HD1 on Maui during a sign waving demonstration along Kaʻahumanu Avenue on Tuesday afternoon. Photo by Wendy Osher.

A group of supporters celebrated the Senate passage of SB1 HD1 on Maui during a sign waving demonstration along Kaʻahumanu Avenue on Tuesday afternoon. Photo by Wendy Osher.

In an appeals court decision last week, the body declared the case as moot because of the laws are now in place that authorize same-sex marriage in Hawaiʻi.

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It effectively vacates a 2012 US District court ruling in the Jackson et al v. Abercrombie case.

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“We are glad to see the district court judgment vacated,” said attorney Clyde J. Wadsworth of Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing, co-counsel for the plaintiff-appellants in a press release statement, “particularly in light of the Ninth Circuit’s decisions striking down discriminatory marriage laws in Idaho and Nevada.”

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