26 Colum. Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 247 (1994-1995)
Same-Sex Marriage: The Fundamental Right of Marriage and an Examination of Conflict of Laws and the Full Faith and Credit Clause; Cordell, Robert L. II

handle is hein.journals/colhr26 and id is 255 raw text is: SAME-SEX MARRIAGE:
THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT OF MARRIAGE
AND AN EXAMINATION
OF CONFLICT OF LAWS AND
THE FULL FAITH AND CREDIT CLAUSE
by Robert L. Cordell II*
There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship,
communion or company than a good marriage.*
I. INTRODUCTION
Marriage is one of the basic, fundamental rights afforded
people of the United States and the world. However, it is not a right
extended to all people. Many couples who desire to take on the rights
and obligations of marriage are prohibited from doing so merely
because the partners are of the same sex.
The institution of marriage binds a couple together both
symbolically and legally. Although many same-sex couples have united
themselves through the symbol of marriage, their marriages are not
recognized as legally valid in any state. In 1993, a lawsuit brought by
three couples from Hawaii against the state's Department of Health
reached the Hawaiian Supreme Court.' The suit, Baehr v. Lewin, was
the couples' response to the denial of their marriage license
applications. The sole reason the licenses were denied was because
each applicant couple is of the same sex.2
The plaintiffs filed a complaint for injunctive and declaratory
relief in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit, State of Hawaii, on May
1, 1991.3 They sought, inter alia, two main forms of relief: 1) a
declaration that Hawaii Revised Statutes § 572-1 (1985), the section of
*   B.A., B.S., Southern Methodist University (1992); J.D. Columbia University
School of Law (expected 1995). Articles Editor, Columbia Human Rights Law Review
(1994-95). The author wishes to thank Suzanne Kaiser and Michone Johnson for their
help in editing this Note. Special thanks to Evan Wolfson, of Lambda Legal Defense and
Education Fund, and Greg McCurdy, of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy for use of
a chart of marriage laws compiled by them and their staffs.
**  Dr. Martin Luther's Divine Discourses at His Table, Table Talk § 292 (London,
William Du-Gard 1652).
1.  Baehr v. Lewin, 852 P.2d 44 (Haw. 1993).
2.  Plaintiffs in the case are Ninia Baehr, Genora Dancel, Tammy Rodrigues,
Antoinette Pregil, Pat Lagon, and Joseph Melilio. Id.
3. Id. at 48.

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