Washington state is one of 42 states with Defense of Marriage laws. Their 1998 law defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman and says the state need not recognize gay marriages from other states.
That should be that, right? Nope.
SEATTLE (AP) – A King County Superior Court judge in Seattle ruled Wednesday that gay couples can marry, saying that denying their right to do so would be a violation of their constitutional rights.
“The denial to the plaintiffs of the right to marry constitutes a denial of substantive due process,” Judge William L. Downing said in his ruling.
The decision is stayed until the state Supreme Court reviews the case, said Jennifer Pizer, lead counsel for Lambda Legal Defense in the case. The stay means no marriage licenses can be issued until the high court’s decision.Relying on those state enacted DOMA laws is like the adage about playing prevent defense in the two minute drill – it prevents alright, prevents winning.
Update: My guess is that some mayor or county clerk will ignore the stay and start issuing marriage licenses immediately.