US: Hawaii to cease defence of law banning same-sex marriage

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Five months after the state legalised same-sex marriage, officials in the US state of Hawaii have announced that the state will no longer defend a law banning it.

The Governor of Hawaii Neil Abercrombie in November signed same-sex marriage into law, just a day after the state’s Senate gave the legislation for its approval.

“Finally, today now all those who have been invisible will be visible to themselves and the whole world,” Mr Abercrombie said.

Now a statement from Attorney General David M Louie has said that the state will stop defending itself against a lawsuit filed in 2011 by same-sex couples seeking to have a law banning same-sex marriage declared unconstitutional.

“The law, policy and public sentiment in Hawaii has clearly and dramatically changed in favor of marriage equality,” said the statement.

Previously the state had defended the law as constitutional through a legal team representing previous health director Loretta Fuddy.

The current health director Dr Linda Rosen, and Governor Abercrombie supported the decision to stop defending the law.

Over the past five months over 1,400 same-sex couples have married in the state, Rosen said. d

Same-sex marriage took effect on 2 December in Hawaii.