Hawaii Lawmaker Files Suit to Shut Down Marriage Equality Special Session Over 1998 Ballot Measure: VIDEO


A Hawaii lawmaker is trying to shut down the special legislative session currently underway in the Aloha state, saying voters misunderstood a ballot measure in 1998 that read:

"A 'Yes' vote would add a new provision to the constitution that would give the legislature the power to reserve marriage to opposite sex couples only."

HawaiiState Rep. Bob McDermott claims that most voters thought they were voting for marriage between a man and a woman, and the legislature does not have the right to decide.

At least one constitutional expert disagrees:

Andrea Freeman is an assistant professor at the University of Hawaii's William S. Richardson School of Law and teaches a course on constitutional law. She said the amendment is clear.

"The amendment clarified that the legislature could choose to reserve marriage only for opposite sex couples," she said. "But it definitely does not state that it is on the only thing it can do."

McDermott contends that according to settled law, the people's perception of the meaning of a constitutional vote carries precedence.

"What did the people understand they were voting on? Between a man and a woman only, because that's what they were told by the Office of Elections," said McDermott.

McDermott says he'll take his case to the state Supreme Court if the circuit court rules against him.

Watch Hawaii News Now's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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