A federal judge ruled this week against two Hawaii women who want to get married instead of enter into a civil union, handing a victory to opponents of gay marriage in a state that's been at the forefront of the issue.
U.S. District Court Judge Alan C. Kay's ruling sides with Hawaii Health Director Loretta Fuddy and Hawaii Family Forum, a Christian group that was allowed to intervene in the case.
"Accordingly, Hawaii's marriage laws are not unconstitutional," the ruling states. "Nationwide, citizens are engaged in a robust debate over this divisive social issue. If the traditional institution of marriage is to be reconstructed, as sought by the plaintiffs, it should be done by a democratically elected legislature or the people through a constitutional amendment," and not through the courts.
The lawsuit by Natasha Jackson and Janin Kleid argues they need to be married in order to get certain federal benefits.
Co-plaintiff Gary Bradley wants to marry his foreign national partner to help him change his immigration status. Their attorney, John D'Amato, said they will appeal.