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Court: Marriage defenders in Hawaii can intervene to oppose legal attack

Judge grants ADF motion to allow Hawaii Family Forum to defend marriage in lawsuit

HONOLULU — A federal judge has ruled that marriage defenders with Hawaii Family Forum can intervene against a legal attack on Hawaii’s marriage laws. The judge made his ruling at a hearing Monday after an Alliance Defense Fund attorney representing HFF argued in favor of granting a motion that ADF attorneys filed in March.

The lawsuit, Jackson v. Abercrombie, seeks 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 seeks to do,” said ADF Litigation Counsel Holly Carmichael, who argued before the court Monday. “Hawaii’s marriage statute and constitutional amendment uphold marriage, and we will give those protections the strongest possible defense. This lawsuit has exposed clearly that so-called ‘civil unions’ are just a Trojan Horse used by activists to undermine marriage, not protect it.”

“Hawaii should not succumb to demands that marriage be ignored as society’s time-tested way to bless as many children as possible with both a mom and a dad,” said HFF Executive Director Allen Cardines. “Marriage expresses the truth that men and women bring distinct, irreplaceable roles and gifts to family life.”

The lawsuit asks the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii to declare the state’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 will not defend the state law against those attacks. His 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.

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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