Washington Court Rules Against Gay Marriage Rights

Washington’s Supreme Court ruled late last month to uphold its ban on same-sex marriage, the Washington “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA). The Wednesday ruling upheld the 1998 interdict against gay marriage despite arguments that DOMA is discriminatory and is a violation of many citizens’ civil rights.

The court ruled in favor of keeping the DOMA by a mere one-vote margin. One justice on the court, Mary Fairhurst, spoke out vehemently against her colleagues’ choice. “There is no rational basis for denying same-sex couples the right to marry,” said Fairhurst in her dissent, adding that the ruling was an example of “blatant discrimination against Washington’s gay and lesbian citizens in the name of encouraging procreation, marriage for individuals in relationships that result in children [É] while ignoring the fact that denying same-sex couples the right to marry has no prospect of furthering any of those interests,” according to the Seattle Times.

The Washington verdict is the second recent anti-gay state court ruling, following New York’s July 6 ruling against same-sex marriage. As with the New York case ruling, lesbian and gay rights advocates await the fallout of this court’s ruling. “Time and again, we’ve seen the words of dissenting judges in civil-rights cases ultimately become the law of the land, and we believe today is no different,” said Lambda Legal’s executive director, Kevin Cathcart in an official statement, according to Time. “In the fight for civil rights, one is often forced to take a few steps back before gaining big steps forward.”


Time magazine 7/27/06; The Seattle Times 7/26/06

Support eh ERA banner