Hawaii Governor Refuses to Defend Gay Marriage Ban in Court

As the battle over the constitutionality of California's ban on gay marriage wends its way through the federal courts, the challenge to a similar law in Hawaii has taken a surprising turn.

Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii's Democratic governor, said this week he will refuse to fight a lawsuit in U.S. District Court seeking to overturn a state law that limits marriage to heterosexual couples. (Hawaii recently became the seventh state to permit civil unions, but still bans gay couples from obtaining the marriage designation.)

His stance comes even as Loretta Fuddy, director of the Hawaii Department of Health — and an Abercrombie appointee — said she will defend the law since it is her duty to enforce existing legislation. (You might remember Fuddy from her awkward position in the kerfuffle over President Obama's birth certificate.)

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