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Massachusetts Was Not An Aberration

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.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Massachusetts Was Not An Aberration:

» In Search of Utopia linked with Okay, I dont get the Whole Gay Marriage Thing?

» The Common Sense Chronicles linked with DOMA Coma

Comments (8)

That's why constitutional a... (Below threshold)

That's why constitutional amendments are all the rage now. I don't think the Missouri results are going to be much wider than in most of the states voting on such amendments this November.

I wonder if Judge Downing w... (Below threshold)
Tongue Boy:

I wonder if Judge Downing will entertain a case questioning the constitutionality of denying medical licenses to those not holding medical degrees or driver's licenses to those who are blind.

One wonders what would happ... (Below threshold)

One wonders what would happen if a fellow showed up in one of the states where same-sex marriage is allowed wanting to marry his pet chicken?

or his seventeen beautiful girlfriends?

or his favorite food?

or his 2 year old daughter?

How would the courts respond to a challenge of this sort. If marriage isn't exclusively between one man & one woman, where is the line, and how in the world would the court disallow these (admittedly extreme) applications without undermining their own decision on same-sex marriage?

Bottom line is that marriage (in the eyes of the law) is not a "constitutional right". It is an application for licensure that individual states should be able to approve or disapprove as their statutes dictate---not as a group of federal judges dictate. There is no mention of marriage in the U. S. Constitution, therefore it should not be in the realm of judicial review at the federal level. (No mention of abortion, either, but that's another post)

As a loyal Browns fan, you ... (Below threshold)

As a loyal Browns fan, you don't know how crushed I'm feeling to read the prevent defense analogy.

Words hurt, Kevin.

(Oh, and on topic, I wonder how many rulings will come down that state something to the effect of "due to the extreme trendyness of gay marriage today, um, we were just kidding in '98. Thank you.")

Elway vs. Marty's Browns in... (Below threshold)

Elway vs. Marty's Browns in the perfect analogy. I'm a lifelong Chargers fan suffering through Martyball so I feel like I've got a little leaway to commiserate with you...

You should make a picture w... (Below threshold)

You should make a picture where it says "Corn! It's no cigar!"

Or something of that perverse sort.

Oops, that was supposed to ... (Below threshold)

Oops, that was supposed to go under the corn post. Sorry.

The implications of Athena'... (Below threshold)

The implications of Athena's mis-posted comment in this discussion are mind-boggling.






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