In Baehr v. Lewin, the Supreme Court of Hawaii sparked a controversy that has potential nationwide implications. The court held that three same-sex couples were entitled to an evidentiary hearing to determine if the State can demonstrate that denying the couples the right to marry under the Hawaii Marriage Law furthers compelling state interests. If the State fails its burden, it can no longer refuse marriage licenses to couples merely on the basis that they are of the same sex. Should this occur, gay marriages will become legal in Hawaii.
Marty K. Courson,
Baehr v. Lewin: Hawaii Takes a Tentative Step to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage, 24 Golden Gate U. L. Rev.