Same-sex couples in Nevada and Hawaii want to be able to stand before the world and say, “I do!” Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has signed this state and his office on to a legal brief that proudly proclaims, “We Did!”
Fifteen states are sharing their legal views with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to argue that laws prohibiting same-sex marriage in those two states violate the 14th Amendment and should be ruled unconstitutional. Both Nevada and Hawaii have legal accommodations for same-sex couples, but not marriage.
The Washington Legislature approved same-sex marriage in 2012, and opponents put it before the voters. Approval of Referendum 74 made Washington the ninth state in the union to authorize same-sex marriage. The state had lived with domestic partnerships a few years, and came to realize that was not enough.
The states’ brief filed with the appeals court captures the sentiment that carried the day in Washington state:
“The states favor – and therefore encourage – marriage over transient relationships because marriage promises stable family bonds, fosters economic interdependence and security for members of the marital household, and enhances the physical and emotional well-being of both the partners to the marriage and any children they may raise…”
For Washington voters it was all about the family and allowing couples to formally and publicly declare their commitment.
Well done, Attorney General Ferguson. Thank you for raising Washington’s voice in a good cause.