Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Washington State: Gay Marriage Legal (on hold) reports that King County Superior Court Judge William L. Downing has issued his decision in the marriage cases argued before him, stating that to deny gay couples the right to marry is a denial of substantive due process. His decision will not go into effect at the present time, however, as it has been stayed until the Washington Supreme Court can hear the case.

The opinion is a good read. He clearly knew this would be a widely circulated document, particularly for a lower level court. From the opinion:
There are, of course, political ramifications to this wedlock deadlock and neither folly nor sense of duty could blind one to that circumstance. The social issue before the Court is one about which people of the highest intellect, the deepest morality and the broadest public vision maintain divergent opinions, strongly held in good faith and all worthy of great respect. Resolving their disagreement is, to be frank, a matter too big to be addressed to a lone individual and this author would naturally like nothing better than to stop at this point and, with a warm and sincere pat on the back, to send all parties off to the State Supreme Court or the State legislature or both. Regrettably or not, such an abdication of responsibility is not an option. As this case and this debate pass by this way station, some impressions and conclusions must be recorded.

This is a 26-page decision, and worth every minute you take to read it.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 3:14 PM