Letters to the Editor

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MARRIAGE: State high court has already ruled on gay marriage

Letter by Richard A. Paroutaud, Centralia on Feb. 13, 2012 at 3:39 pm with 16 Comments »
February 13, 2012 3:40 pm

Your editorial (TNT, 2-13) regarding same-sex marriage states that if a referendum overturns the new law permitting same-sex marriage, a “test case” would go to the Washington Supreme Court, and “observers” believe it would rule in favor of same-sex marriage.

Your editorial, however, doesn’t mention that this “test case” was already decided by the state supreme court in July 2006. In Andersen v. King County, the court ruled just the opposite. The Defense of Marriage Act was challenged in a lawsuit brought by a dozen couples in King and Thurston counties.

The supreme court ruled that there is no fundamental right to marriage that includes the right to marry a person of the same sex, and therefore the law didn’t violate the state constitution’s privileges and immunities clause, which is applied under the federal equal protection clause.

Leave a comment Comments → 16
  1. However, the Nineth Circute Court has recently ruled that it is un-Constitutional to prohibit same sex-marriages.

  2. The author is confused. His case does not apply.

  3. APimpNamedSlickback says:

    Actually, in Andersen, the court did not determine there was no right for same-sex couples to marry; rather, it determined only that DOMA did not violate the state constitution and the legislature could restrict same-sex marriage without violating the state constitution. If the letter writer read the decision in Andersen, he would see on the very first page the court explicitly noted: “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.”

    That’s exactly what the legislature just did.

  4. Is the letter’s author uninformed, ignorant, a bigot or something else? Inquiring minds want to know.

  5. Gay people have been getting married since the ming dynasty; and also in ancient rome. Maryland was the first state to ban gay marriage in 1973… so remind me again who it is trying to redefine marriage again?

  6. i gotta ask though; since when do we get to vote on other people’s civil rights? are they not called “rights” for a reason? why can’t people realize that there are different kinds of people and that we all are bestowed for the same rights in this country? and why do a specific group of (evangelical) people think that they get to decide that they are the sole owners of the term “marriage” when “marriage” itself is a legally binding contractual agreement between two consenting adult parties?

  7. HistoryFan says:

    Jellee, why not remain with Civil Unions? What was wrong with that? Don’t you get the same civil rights and benifits? Why the need to infringe on those (men and women) who have for centuries entered into traditional marriage? Some might argue, maybe not you out of respect, it is done not to gain “equal status” but to tear down religious institutions.

  8. HistoryFan – jellee provided historical facts and you just ignored them. Your fan status seems to be relegated to one side of history and not the whole picture.

  9. And….explain how my marriage is infringed upon by opening up the institution to others?

    And……explain how a law governing a legal contract entered into by two consenting adults in any way tears down religious institutions when they are free to choose who they are willing to participate by officiating the signing of the above said contract.

  10. Awkward last sentence in above post.

  11. APimpNamedSlickback says:

    HistoryFan:

    I won’t repeat beerBoy’s questions, though I am wondering what your answers are to them. To answer your questions (“…why not remain with Civil Unions? What was wrong with that? Don’t you get the same civil rights and benifits?”): did you read the recent Prop 8 decision?

    What was wrong with civil unions was that they do not have the societally recognized significance of marriage. Although they can be the same in all respects, except name, the name is the important part. And no, youdon’t get the same rights and benefits with civil unions. You still can’t file federal taxes together, you still can’t receive Social Security survivor benefits, and many other benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy. I’m confident that those benefits will come along sooner than later, but there is an undeniable power behind the word “marriage” that does not exist in “civil union.”

    Imagine a same-sex couple where one member is brought to the hospital in an emergency. The other member wants to remain by their partner’s side. Saying to the hospital staff “we’re married” guarantees that immediate right. Saying “we’re civily united” is likely to draw questions and require reviewing just what visitation rights are permitted. The 9th Circuit listed a number of similar practical scenarios and popular culture references that highlight the difference between the two terms. The conclusion is that one is preferable to the other, and allowing one group to enjoy the better term and denying its use to another equates to state-sponsored discrimination. That is impermissible.

    No church will be required to perform same-sex weddings. No church will be expected to recognize the cultural/spiritual nature of such a marriage. They are only required to recognize the legal effect of it. There are some churches out there that believe interfaith and interracial marriage is a sin and unacceptable. Those churches don’t perform those types of marriages; but they do have to recognize that the relationship between a white Jewish woman who is married to a black Muslim man has the exact same legal status as two married people of the same faith and/or race. So where is the attack on religious institutions?

    Face it, you’re on the wrong side of history.

  12. BlaineCGarver says:

    “Is the letter’s author uninformed, ignorant, a bigot”

    No, but your comment sure is, bigot.

  13. ManuelMartini says:

    “Jellee, why not remain with Civil Unions? What was wrong with that?”

    OK…you win. Heterosexuals can have civil unions and homosexuals can have “marriage”.

  14. ManuelMartini says:

    Oh…one better….”sacred unions”….

    exclusively for the heterosexuals.

  15. surething says:

    Wow, what a circus. Love is love, get over it.

  16. Blaine wins! His variation on the “I’m rubber and you are glue…” and “I know you are, but what am I?” are such a brilliant rhetorical display of argumentation I am just astounded!

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