Hawaii has been the scene of heated debates over same-sex marriage, with supporters of the practice saying it will make the state stronger and protect children.
Nowhere in Hawaii is the issue as fraught as in the state’s most populous county, where a handful of supporters have filed a lawsuit challenging the state law, arguing it is unconstitutional and that the constitutional amendment defining marriage was intended to be a “safe harbor” for gay and lesbian couples to wed.
On Monday, a judge issued an injunction blocking enforcement of the marriage ban.
A hearing on the matter is scheduled for next week, according to the Hawaii Administrative Office of Courts.
Neil Abercrombie (R) has said the state will stay the fight until the court rules on the suit.
But supporters of gay marriage are hopeful the case will be heard sooner rather than later, given the political power that gay rights have in Hawaii.
“I think that we’ll get it resolved as soon as possible,” said Josh O’Brien, the founder of the Honolulu-based Marriage Equality Hawaii, who said the injunction would allow Hawaii to continue to uphold its traditional marriage protections.
“This will give us time to get to the next step and to make the argument for equality, and we’re very optimistic.”
In a statement, Abercron said the ruling is “a victory for our nation and for the dignity and well-being of every Hawaiian family, including those who may have experienced discrimination or abuse in their lives.”
He said he is confident the courts will ultimately resolve the matter.
“The courts will have to take their course,” Abercraum said.
“But we are confident the court will uphold the constitutionality of our marriage laws, and that we will not be denied that right for years to come.”