By Gudrun Schultz
SEATTLE, Washington, July 26, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Supreme Court of Washington issued a long-awaited ruling today, upholding the state’s ban on homosexual “marriage,” Seattlepi.com reported this morning.
In a 5-4 decision, the Court upheld the state’s 1998 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as solely the union between one man and one woman.
DOMA was instituted to “promote procreation and to encourage stable families,” Justice Barbara Madsen wrote in the decision.
“The legislature was entitled to believe that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers the State’s legitimate interests in procreation and the well-being of children.”
Washington’s ban on homosexual marriages, which passed the state Legislature with an overwhelming majority in 1998 despite the veto of Governor Gary Locke, was challenged in 2004 by 19 homosexual couples. Backed by gay activist organizations including the Northwest Women’s Law Center, Lamba Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, the couples launched two suits claiming the ban violated their constitutional right to equality.Â
The Court’s decision to uphold the same-sex marriage ban marks a significant victory for supporters of traditional marriage in the country, following close behind the New York State Appeals Court ruling earlier this month upholding the state’s constitutional ban on homosexual “marriage.”
As in the Washington state decision, New York’s ruling was made primarily on the grounds of protecting the best interests of children. The Court said the state of New York was justified in refusing to recognize same-sex marriages based on concern for the welfare of children alone, stating:
“To recognize marriage between people of the same sex would result in the abolition of male and female by making gender irrelevant, and the abolition of gender would have devastating effects on children. Children do best when raised with a mom and a dad.”
Massachusetts remains the only state in the union to permit homosexual “marriage.”
An additional seven states are facing lawsuits seeking to overturn marriage laws, including New Jersey and California.
See previous LifeSiteNews coverage:
Seattle Archbishop Condemns Gay “Marriage”, Fears State-made Theology, Lawsuits
Judge Legalizes Same-Sex “Marriage” for Washington State
New York’s Highest Court Rules 4-2 In Favor Of Traditional Marriage