December 3, 1996

Victory is Sweet!!!

Today Judge Kevin Chang ordered the State of Hawaii to issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples. The state is technically in default on the order already, because the Department of Health turned away two couples today. Deputy AG Eichor is scrambling to get a stay of the order pending an appeal of Judge Chang's ruling to Hawaii's Supreme Court.

Judge Chang's ruling is thorough, and found with the three plaintiff couples on every point. The decision runs to 50 pages of close attention paid to the evidence at the trial. This decision deserves high praise for its careful review.

Judge Chang also awarded the three plaintiff couples court costs (the costs of expert witnesses, depositions, photocopying, etc. but NOT Dan Foley's fees nor Evan Wolfson's salary at LLDEF). Since Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund bore the great brunt of the court costs, most of the reimbursement will go to LLDEF.

Attorney General Margery Bronster is out of town today, despite advance notice of the pending decision.

Victory is sweet!!!!!

                        Best Regards,

                        Tom Ramsey

P.S. Of course, in the morning we h.e.r.m.p volunteers will wake up to the fact that we owe tens of thousands of dollars on the court case itself, and face opponents who are determined to amend Hawaii's Constitution to over-turn this decision. Please remember us in your celebration!

Tax-deductible contributions may be sent to h.e.r.m.p, PO Box 11690, Honolulu, HI 96822, to support the court case and the ongoing work of fighting the AG's office.

Non-tax-deductible contributions for intensive lobbying may be sent to Friend of h.e.r.m.p, PO Box 11690, Honolulu, HI 96822. Contributions to Friends of h.e.r.m.p can also be made by telephone: 1-900-97-MARRY ($5 minimum, 18 years or older; $25 maximum in all US area codes except 808). 900 charges appear on your phone bill.

P.S.S. Web sites for additional h.e.r.m.p information:

For legal documents related to Baehr v. Lewin (now Baehr v. Miike): which has a link to marriage and Baehr v. Lewin

For national as well as Hawaii information:

The Hawaii Equal Rights Marriage Project, h.e.r.m.p, is the sole support of the work of Dan Foley on Baehr v. Lewin (Foley is the attorney who makes all court appearances on behalf of the plaintiff couples). Please be generous in support of h.e.r.m.p; Hawaii is a small state, and the tiny gay and lesbian community here is very active in advocacy work which h.e.r.m.p cannot address. Donations to h.e.r.m.p are fully tax-deductible, and should be made out to:
                        1521 Alexander Street, #503
                        Honolulu, HI 96822.
[TR: As of 06-22-98, the correct name and address is
                        Marriage Project - Hawaii
                        PO Box 11690
                        Honolulu, HI 96828]

The h.e.r.m.p branch in Kona, on the Big Island, has produced a T-shirt for sale. One can send a check for $17.50 to h.e.r.m.p, P.O.Box 902, Captain Cook, HI 96704, together with a note about being sent a T-shirt (S, M, L, XL, XXL). It is also available in a tank top. The design is multi-color on white. A large triangle points down, with the letters h.e.r.m.p above the triangle, some male-male, female-female symbols in the border of the triangle and some palm trees. To place an email order for T-shirts, or to obtain more information, please email

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