Thursday, November 14, 2013


Judge Sakamoto pronounces same-sex marriage legal in Hawaii, denying injunction

by Larry Geller

It’s hardly “disappeared news” that a state court judge has declined to enjoin same-sex marriage in Hawaii. The news will be covered by most every media outlet.

The outcome is neatly summed up by Circuit Court Judge Karl Sakamoto’s last words in the courtroom, after he concluded his legal arguments: “Same sex marriage in Hawaii is legal.”


The verdict was so simple that it didn’t even take 140 characters to explain.

The judge accepted the plaintiffs’ standing, saying basically that the plaintiffs were arguing in the public interest. By doing so, he allowed both sides to make their case. Had the judge not granted standing, and so muffled the opponent's voices, no doubt there would have been a rapid move to appeal.

Much of the plaintiffs’ argument reflected similar claims during the special session, including the claim that the majority opposed, and the people should vote. The judge listened, showing no reaction. Finally, he read his verdict from prepared notes. Clearly, those misrepresentations didn’t sway him. Nor did the repeated claim that the people were led to misunderstand the 1998 amendment before voting, by Joe Moore and on the Perry & Price program, allegedly telling voters that the proposed amendment would ban same-sex marriage.

I thought I had the first tweet announcing the verdict, but no, once again @MelikaLondon’s live tweets from the press area had both the first and last words. Well, almost the last words. Her last tweet questioned whether the judge just denied the TRO or dismissed the case. The hearing was just on the injunction. The case continues, if the plaintiffs want to continue with it. This is confirmed by the AG’s office. So I have one more tweet to do…


Thanks for the report and especially the clarification as to the scope of the decision.

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