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Baehr v. Miike - Same Sex Marriages, The Burden Of Proof Is On The State, Both Sides Marshal Their Experts

hawaii plaintiffs decision partners


Ninia Baehr, Genora Dancel, Tammy Rodrigues, Antoinette Pregil, Pat Lagon, and Joseph Melillo


Lawrence H. Miike, Director of Hawaii Department of Health

Plaintiffs' Claim

That the use of a Hawaii statute to forbid marriages by partners of the same sex violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Hawaii Constitution.

Chief Lawyer for Plaintiffs

Daniel R. Foley

Chief Defense Lawyer

Rick J. Eichor, Deputy Attorney General of Hawaii


Kevin S. C. Chang, Judge of the First Circuit Court, State of Hawaii


Honolulu, Hawaii

Date of Decision

3 December 1996


That the application of Hawaii Revised Statute 572-1 to deny a marriage contract to same-sex partners violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Hawaii Constitution, and was therefore invalid.


For centuries, societies throughout the world had operated on the assumption that the only valid legal marriage contract could be one between a man and a woman. Baehr v. Miike challenged this principle, and became a ruling with the potential to rival the impact of landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions such as Brown v. Board of Education (1954) or Roe v. Wade (1973).

Related Cases

  • Loving v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967).
  • Dean v. District of Columbia, 653 A.2d 307 (1995).
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