Washington Judge Rules on Gay Marriage
By Associated Press
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Echoing the ruling of another local court, a Thurston County judge ruled Tuesday that Washington state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
A King County judge had ruled in favor of gay marriage rights in a separate case last month. Both cases will now go to the state Supreme Court, where they will likely be consolidated.
"For the government this is not a moral issue. It is a legal issue," wrote Thurston County Superior Court Judge Richard Hicks in his ruling, posted Tuesday on the court's Web site.
Hicks acknowledged that the intent of the state's 1998 Defense of Marriage Act was very clear: Legislators wanted to limit marriage to a union between one man and one woman. But, Hicks said, that law directly conflicts with the state constitution.