Friday, August 06, 2004

Washington court rules anti-gay marriage law unconstitutional

A Washington state lower court ruled this week that a state law barring same sex unions is unconstitutional.
Prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying is "not rationally related to any legitimate or compelling state interest," said King County Superior Court Judge William L. Downing, who issued his ruling in response to a challenge of a state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
The Judge in the case stayed his decision to allow the state's Supreme Court to review the case. Until that court rules, no marriage licenses can be issued to same-sex couples in Washington. But, if Downing's decision is upheld, Washington will become the second state, after Massachusetts, to permit same sex couples to marry. Unlike Massachusetts, Washington does NOT bar out-of-state couples from marrying if their home states does not acknowledge the unions.

Hopefully, the case will set a positive legal precedent for striking down Virginia's hateful House Bill 751.

And in the meantime, Virginia same sex couples may shortly have the option of a legal wedding in Washington. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
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