Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Evergreen State Status

An excellent and detailed analysis at the SF Gate describes the key issues as all sides await the Washington State Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. That result could come as early as this Thursday.

This is very similar to Massachusetts' Goodridge case. The challenge to state laws forbidding SSM in Olympia is to state law only. The court's ruling cannot go federal.

Note: The Goodridge link opens a PDF.

As Wyatt Buchanan's article notes:
The two Washington state cases explore two major issues being debated across the nation: whether marriage is a right and how the government can allow straight people to marry but not gays or lesbians.

"The cases present constitutional issues that judges haven't thought about a great deal yet," said Matt Coles, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Lesbian and Gay Rights Project. "It's not just the narrow issue of marriage but how you think about laws that discriminate against gay people under the equal protection clause, how you think about what a fundamental right is.
The outcome options are also similar to Massachusetts'. The court can decide:
  • Uphold one-man/one-woman marriage.
  • Overturn existing law and order authorization of SSM.
  • Declare the law unconstitutional and turn the resolution back to the legislature.
The anti-SSM folk are not about to let another state permit SSM without a fight. The Family Research Council's Tom McClusky, said that if Washington permits SSM, his group will take another stab at forcing a federal law forbidding such unions.


Anonymous said...

Good post as usual, but it's "Goodridge," not "Goodrich."


massmarrier said...

Why don't you take a seat behind me? Yours is the type of redaction I could use. Fluttering fingers, slack mind...

Thanks, I'll correct it.