December 19, 1997

Jay Sekulow Loses Appeal Before Hawaii's Supreme Court

Today, Dec. 19, Hawaii's Supreme Court issued a Summary Disposition Order that upheld a lower court ruling concerning 8 legislators who wanted to be co-defendants with the state of Hawaii in the court case Baehr v. Miike (the same-gender marriage case).

The eight legislators sued to have their own representation in the case other than the representation provided for the entire State of Hawaii by the Attorney General's office.  The lower court rejected this request and the Hawaii Supreme Court has upheld that rejection.

Among the eight legislators is Representative Gene Ward (Republican) who lead Pat Robertson's Campaign for President in Hawaii.  The attorney for the 8 legislators was Jay Sekulow, who is a close associate of Pat Robertson's.  In 1997 Sekulow has used Hawaii's marriage case to raise funds for his own organization.

This will have been the THIRD Hawaii Supreme Court ruling on issues related to Baehr v. Miike:

  1. In 1993, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that denial of marriage licenses was sex discrimination subject to the same strict legal standards as race, religious, or ethnic discrimination.  The Hawaii Supreme Court ordered Honolulu Circuit Court to hold a trial on whether the state had any compelling reasons to justify the discrimination.  In December 1996 the Honolulu Circuit Court rejected all of the state's arguments, but stayed its own ruling pending a final appeal by the state to Hawaii's Supreme Court.
  2. In January, 1996, Hawaii's Supreme Court rejected a Mormon request to be codefendants in Baehr and made it clear that no church could be forced to perform marriages against the church's doctrines (e.g., Roman Catholics doesn't accept most second marriages although most states do recognize them)
  3. The Jay Sekulow Case

Of course, we all wonder when the Hawaii Supreme Court will decide the state's appeal of the December 1996 Honolulu Circuit ruling!

                        May this news brighten your Christmas!

                        Tom Ramsey

PS.  All of these round trips to Hawaii's Supreme Court take time and money.  To support the court case Baehr v. Miike, please make a donation to

                        Marriage Project - Hawaii
                        PO Box 11690
                        Honolulu, HI 96828

Your donation will be tax-deductible.  Marriage Project - Hawaii pays the fees of attorney Dan Foley, does some public education and does some limited lobbying.  The lobbying is limited by IRS rules governing tax-deductible organizations (501 c 3 organizations).

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