December 22, 1997 (1)

Honolulu Star-Bulletin's Report On The Jay Sekulow Case

Attached is an email message from Martin Rice (, who transcribed a Honolulu Star-Bulletin article on the Dec. 19 action by Hawaii's Supreme Court on an appeal related to Baehr v. Miike.  Thank you Martin!

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin is the afternoon daily newspaper for Honolulu.  Its web page ( ) includes some of its articles and has a link ( ) to an incomplete archive of some of its past articles.

                        Best Regards,

                        Tom Ramsey

Honolulu Star-Bulletin
P.O. Box 3080
Honolulu, HI 96802

High Court Dismisses Same-sex Appeal
The State Court Rules That Only The Attorney Genral Has The Right To Control State Cases 
By Linda Hosek, Star-Bulletin
December 20, 1997

    Eight present and former legislators have lost an appeal to intervene in the same-sex marriage case, reinforcing a ruling that the state attorney general has the exclusive right to control state cases. 
    The state Supreme Court yesterday dismissed the 1996 appeal, which was an attempt by legislators to use all possible arguments -- including homophobic, emotional, social and economic -- to fight same-sex marriage. 
    State Rep. Gene Ward, one of the legislators, said he wasn't surprised by the ruling to not allow them to play a legal role in the same-sex case. 
    But Ward (R, Mariner's Ridge-`Aina Haina) added that the high court should wait until after November 1998 to make its final ruling. 
    Residents will vote in the November elections on a constitutional amendment to let lawmakers define marriage. 
    Justices have the state's appeal of the same-sex issue before them.  If they affirm a 1996 lower court ruling that found the state failed to show a compelling reason to ban same-sex marriage, it would make Hawaii the first state in the nation to allow such unions. 
    "Some expect the court to act based on their interpretation of the law," Ward said.  "Others say it's a political court and would likely wait until the people decide in November." 
    He predicted a ruling before the vote would ignite a firestorm of protest. 
    Dan Foley, the attorney representing the three couples who sued for the right to marry, said Ward was trying to turn a constitutional issue into a political one to advance his own career. 
    He said Ward's proposal to let the majority rule or to determine issues through polls leaves the minority without rights. 
    Foley also said the 1998 amendment was the first on the books intended to take away rights, adding that the right to marry was significant. 
    In their ruling yesterday, justices affirmed a 1996 ruling by Circuit Judge Kevin Chang, who found that the legislators couldn't intervene.  He cited a 1976 state Supreme Court decision that gives the attorney general the right to control state cases. 
    He also said the lawmakers, aided by the legal counsel of Christian leader Pat Robertson, provided no evidence to suggest the state was inadequately representing the case. 
    Justice drew national and international attention with their 1993 ruling on the issue. 
    They presumed that same-sex couples have a right to marry based on the state Constitution's equal protection clause, which prohibits gender discrimination. 
    But they also threw the case back to the state, giving officials a chance to ban same-sex marriage by showing a compelling state interest. 
    Chang, who also presided over the trial, found that the state didn't prove its case. 

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