The Washington Supreme Court ruled today that the state’s Defense of Marriage Act does not violate the state constitution…
The Court decides to send the power to the legislature or the people. From Justice Madsen’s lead opinion:
“The two cases before us require us to decide whether the legislature has the power to limit marriage in Washington State to opposite-sex couples. The state constitution and controlling case law compel us to answer “yes,” and we therefore reverse the trial courts.
In reaching this conclusion, we have engaged in an exhaustive constitutional inquiry and have deferred to the legislative branch as required by our tri-partite form of government. Our decision accords with the substantial weight of authority from courts considering similar constitutional claims. We see no reason, however, why the legislature or the people acting through the initiative process would be foreclosed from extending the right to marry to gay and lesbian couples in Washington.”
State’s high court upholds ban on gay marriage [seattlepi]
More excerpts from the ruling:
“There also is no violation of the state due process clause. DOMA bears a reasonable relationship to legitimate state interests — procreation and child-rearing. Nor do we find DOMA invalid as a violation of privacy interests protected by article I, section 7 of the Washington State Constitution. The people of Washington have not had in the past nor,
at this time, are they entitled to an expectation that they may choose to marry a person of the same sex.
Finally, DOMA does not violate the state constitution’s equal rights amendment because that provision prohibits laws that render benefits to or restrict or deny rights of one sex. DOMA treats both sexes the same; neither a man nor a woman may marry a person of the same sex.”