May 14th, 2010
04:35 AM ET
5 years ago

Hawaii can ignore repeated requests for pres. birth certificate

President Obama’s certification of live birth.
President Obama’s certification of live birth.

Washington (CNN) - Hawaii would like for so-called "birthers" to stop asking to see President Obama's birth certificate.

The state passed a law on Wednesday that allows state agencies to ignore repeated requests to view government records, including the president's birth document. Hawaii's Republican Gov. Linda Lingle signed the legislation into law.

This will impact requests from a fringe movement dubbed the "birthers." Adherents question President Obama's constitutional eligibility to be commander-in-chief, suggesting he was not born in the United States despite proof that he was born in Hawaii in 1961. CNN and other news organizations have thoroughly debunked the rumors about the president's birthplace.

Hawaii has released a copy of the president’s birth certificate – officially called a “certificate of live birth” – and the hospital took out ads in two Hawaiian newspapers announcing the 1961 birth.

But adherents to the “birther” theories persist. Army surgeon Lt. Col. Terry Lakin subscribes to the “birther” theory and faces a court martial for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan unless the president shows his birth certificate. He disputes that the Hawaii birth certificate is real.

“I believe we need truth on this matter,” he said in an interview earlier this week on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360.

In recent testimony to a state senate panel considering the new law, Hawaii Director of Health Chiyome L. Fukino said her office receives about 50 emails a month requesting access to the president's birth certificate.

Fukino cited a small group of individuals "who engage in a pattern of repeated requests" in a transcript of her testimony provided to CNN. "We believe having to respond repeatedly to essentially the same request or a variation of the request all centering on whether or not President Obama was born in Hawaii is a frivolous use of department time and resources."

And in a recent WABC interview before she signed the bill, Hawaii's Republican governor said the birth certificate issue “is simply a distraction from the more critical issues that are facing the country.”

“And so I had my health director, who is a physician by background, go personally view the birth certificate in the birth records of the Department of Health,” Lingle said. “ … The president was in fact born at Kapi'olani Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. And that's just a fact. And yet people continue to call up and email and want to make it an issue. And I think it's, again, a horrible distraction for the country by those people who continue this."

"It's been established he was born here,” the governor added. “I can understand why people want to make certain that the constitutional requirement of being a, you know, natural born American citizen … but the question has been asked and answered. And I think just we should all move on now."


Filed under: Birthers • Hawaii • President Obama
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