You wouldn’t know it from most of the headlines, however. Most of the mainstream news articles say that Federal Judge Alan C Kay ruled against gay marriage, “refuses to legalize gay marriage” or “upholds” a “ban” on gay marriage. One article at “Think Progress,” is even titled, “Reagan-Appointed Judge Upholds Marriage Discrimination In Hawaii.”
In fact, what the judge ruled was that the Courts shouldn’t overturn State Constitutional amendments passed by a popular vote of the people and/or laws passed by the State Legislature without good reason:
If the traditional institution of marriage is to be restructured, as sought by Plaintiffs, it should be done by a democratically-elected legislature or the people through a constitutional amendment, not through judicial legislation that would inappropriately preempt democratic deliberation regarding whether or not to authorize same-sex marriage.
Rational basis review does not authorize “the judiciary [to] sit as a
superlegislature to judge the wisdom or desirability of
legislative policy determinations made in areas that neither
affect fundamental rights nor proceed along suspect lines.” Jackson, Kleid, &Bradley v. Ambercrombie & Fudder ruling by Alan C. Kaye for District Court in Hawaii.
The judge does explore the history of marriage and, indeed, concludes that marriage has traditionally included a man and a woman and that the Supreme Court and Circuit Court rulings have never considere marriage to be anything else. He also noted that homosexuals are not a “suspect class” that is protected from discrimination and that the law does not discriminate based on gender.
In an odd twist, the Governor of Hawaii, Democrat Neil Ambercrombie, was not only a defendant in the case,he testified for the plaintiffs, and against traditional marriage.