WA State Judge Rules in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage

August 5, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A Washington state judge has ruled barring same-sex marriages serves no "state interest" and violates the constitutional right of these couples to due process.

Six couples filed the lawsuit in March after King County Washington refused to grant them marriage licenses, and two other couples later joined the suit.   The group contends that a Washington state law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman violates the state constitution by depriving same-sex couples of the same rights as other residents, according to an Associated Press report.

“Although many may hold strong opinions on the subject, the fact is that there are no scientifically valid studies tending to establish a negative impact on the adjustment of children raised by an intact same-sex couple as compared with those raised by an intact opposite-sex couple,” King County Superior Court Judge William Downing said in the court’s opinion.

Downing also refuted arguments that allowing same-sex unions in the state would be detrimental to children brought up in nontraditional families.  

However, the ruling does not pave the way for same-sex marriages in the state.   The state Supreme Court must review the case before same-sex marriage licenses can be issued.