Monday, July 21, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 2 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Levinson holds out hope for same-sex marriage legalization

By Ken Kobayashi

LAST UPDATED: 12:01 p.m. HST, Jun 26, 2013

Former Associate Justice Steven Levinson, who wrote the landmark 1993 same-sex marriage ruling that led Congress to pass the Defense of Marriage Act, said this morning he’s “ecstatic” over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision.

Levinson wrote the controlling opinion that paved the way for Hawaii to be the first state to legalize same-sex marriage until a 1998 constitutional amendment negated the ruling.

Levinson’s opinion also sparked fears that same-sex marriage would be legalized and prompted Congress to pass DOMA in 1996.

Levinson said the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling now provides momentum for state lawmakers here to legalize same-sex marriages here.

Hawaii recognizes same-sex civil unions that provides gays and lesbian couples with the same state benefits and rights as married couples.

With the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling, those couples could receive federal marriage benefits if lawmakers allow them to get married here, he said.

“I’m hoping it will provide a huge, tremendous incentive to the legislature to take a simple step to achieve fairness,” he said.

Hawaii’s laws banning same-sex marriages are also subject to a pending federal court challenge contending the statutes are unconstitutional.

Levinson said the high court’s ruling might not have much impact on the Hawaii case.

The majority made it clear that they weren’t deciding whether there is a constitutional right to have same-sex marriages, he said.

In retirement, Levinson has been active in pushing for the legalization of same-sex marriages.

He is a board member for the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii, Equality Hawaii and Hawaii United for Marriage.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 2 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
AndrewWalden wrote:
Broken Trust Gang finally Imposes Gay Unions on Hawaii http://hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/ID/5778/Broken-Trust-Gang-finally-Imposes-Gay-Unions-on-Hawaii.aspx
on June 26,2013 | 03:35PM
When will the like of MIKE GABBARD who as demonize the gay community publicly for 25 years finally wake up and ask forgiveness to the gay community for being ignorant and bigot ? When ? Tulsi Gabbard did ask for forgiveness .....was she sincere ..at least she did apologize when born and raise by parents that are BIGOTS its not easy to get deprogram . Mike wants to play the RELIGION game ....he should try instead to help his son Bhakti still in jail in Las vegas after the 5th arrest in 2013
on June 26,2013 | 03:47PM
Breaking News