Gay Marriage: Washington Supreme Court Says No genre: Gaylingual & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation & Uncivil Unions

Same-sex marriage

The long awaited ruling from the Washington state Supreme Court has just been published. The findings of the court held that the definition of marriage being between a man and a woman is constitutional and that DOMA is also constitutional and that there were no compelling reasons to uphold lower court rulings to the contrary. To read the full opinion, link here.

Washington’s long-standing definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman and DOMA are both constitutional. Respondents’ numerous challenges under the state and federal constitutions all fail. We conclude that the legislature was justified in enacting DOMA to clarify and reaffirm Washington marriage law by a compelling governmental interest in preserving the institution of marriage, as well as the healthy families and children it promotes. This conclusion may not be changed by mere passage of time or currents of public favor and surely not changed by courts.

Finally, we conclude that neither the due process or right to privacy clauses in article I, section 3 and section 7 nor the equal rights amendment to our state constitution creates a right to marry a person of the same sex. Indeed, these claims are even less persuasive when viewed correctly through the eyes and understanding of those who authored and ratified our constitution (and the ERA amendment).

We add the important conclusion that this decision is required by the relevant constitutional provisions, the history of our laws and precedent in this court, and the United States Supreme Court. This decision is final. 54 The decisions of both trial courts are reversed and these actions dismissed.

On a brighter note, the Court made it clear that nothing prevented allowing for same-sex marriages through the legislative process or through voter initiatives that might be placed on the ballot. The Court sought to make clear that the scope of their ruling was to simply determine if DOMA was constitutional and not to offer their opinions as to what they may believe the law ought to be.

While this ruling will be viewed as a loss within the LGBT community, it may not in the long run be as bad as it appears. The timing of this ruling made it particularly volatile and had the court ruled against DOMA and concluded that same-sex couples could marry, it would have likely provided the Republican Party with a highly charged issue heading towards the crucial November midterm elections. Nonetheless, it is another defeat for same-sex marriage within the court setting. Despite the disappointment, polls do show that the voters are moving in the right direction with regard to same-sex marriage. Even those opposed to same-sex marriage concede that it is merely a matter of time before a majority of voters will support same-sex marriage.

In the meantime, the LGBT community and its supporters must continue to win the hearts and minds of those with whom they associate. This battle is going to be won on a person by person basis and it is essential for each gay American to engage those who they encounter in an honest and open dialogue such that it becomes evident that gays have the same concerns and endure the same hardships and have the same hopes as all Americans. Once that happens, gays will no longer be viewed in the abstract as a group of people who seek to impose an unreasonable agenda. Only then will the fear that drives opposition to same-sex marriage subside.

Daniel DiRito | July 26, 2006 | 9:10 AM
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Post a comment

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry

© Copyright 2023


Read about the Director and Cast

Send us an email

Select a theme:

Critic's Corner

 Subscribe in a reader


Powered by:
Movable Type 4.2-en

© Copyright 2023

site by Eagle River Partners & Carlson Design