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ADF, HFF: Court should offer no aloha to Hawaii marriage attack

ADF seeks to intervene on behalf of Hawaii Family Forum to defend marriage against lawsuit
“Just Who do We Think We Are?”

HONOLULU — Alliance Defense Fund attorneys representing Hawaii Family Forum asked a federal court Thursday for permission to intervene against a legal attack on Hawaii’s marriage laws.

The motion and brief seeks entry into a lawsuit recently filed to tear down Hawaii’s law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman and Hawaii’s constitutional amendment that gives the legislature the power to maintain the timeless definition. The three individuals who filed the suit are also assailing Hawaii’s “civil unions” law, which became effective Jan. 1, arguing that nothing less than a complete redefinition of marriage will satisfy them.

“Society should protect and strengthen marriage, not undermine it as this lawsuit clearly seeks to do,” said ADF Litigation Counsel Holly Carmichael. “Anyone who believes so-called ‘civil unions’ will preserve marriage need only look at this lawsuit and countless others. Civil unions are a Trojan Horse used by activists to undermine marriage, not protect it. Hawaii’s marriage statute and constitutional amendment uphold marriage, and we are seeking to give those protections an adequate defense.”

“Hawaii has been defending against this redefinition since 1993,” said James Hochberg, one of nearly 2,100 attorneys in the ADF alliance who is serving as local counsel on behalf of Hawaii Family Forum. “Our state should not now succumb to demands that we ignore marriage as society’s time-tested way to bless as many children as possible with both a mom and a dad. Marriage expresses the truth that men and women bring distinct, irreplaceable gifts to family life.”

The lawsuit, Jackson v. Abercrombie, asks the court to declare Hawaii’s constitutional amendment on marriage and the state’s law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman unconstitutional. Gov. Neil Abercrombie has stated both publicly and in the lawsuit that he agrees with those arguments and that he will not defend the law against those attacks. Abercrombie’s stance prompted Hawaii Family Forum through its ADF attorneys to ask the court to allow it to intervene in defense of marriage in the state.

ADF attorneys, as part of the legal team in California, successfully intervened to defend that state’s constitutional amendment protecting marriage after the state’s governor and attorney general refused to defend it.

  • Pronunciation guide: Hochberg (HOAK’-burg)

 ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.


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