August 04, 2004

All Your Gays Are Belong To Us

Hot on the heals of Missouri's anti-gay marriage amendment to their state constitution, a Washington Superior Court judge has just declared that denying gays access to marriage is a violation of their right to due process protected in the US Constitution under the 14th and 5th amendments. While this may seem like good but un-ground breaking news after all the hullabulloo in Massachusetts, it's actually potentially a lot more important than that. See, Washington is, while the MA isn't, one of the 38 states who have amended their state constitutions to define marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman. This will surely go to the Supreme Court before it's done, but that 733t Washington judge may have just set us up the bomb!


Noumena said...

If the WA constitution was amended to restrict the definition of marriage, then a law recognizing such a restriction would be constitutional. Did you mean that the Washington legislature passed a law, not an amendment, against gay marriage?

MosBen said...

No, I meant that WA's state constitution restricts marriage to man/woman unions, but the state judge essentially found that state constitutional ammendment to be incompatible with the federal constitution. Being that the federal constitution trumps all state laws, including state constitutions, this would invalidate the marriage ammendment. The reason this case is a good and interesting one to watch is because this is the first time, to my knowledge, that an already passed state ammendment is being challanged under federal law. Previous cases (in Hawii, for example) are what lead to most of the 38 states that have such ammendments to enact them.