Thursday, August 05, 2004

Bit by bit, row by row

from Reuters:
SEATTLE (Reuters) - A trial judge in Washington state ruled on Wednesday that same-sex marriages were legal, but he stayed his decision so the issue could be decided by the state's Supreme Court.

Gay marriage advocates hailed the decision as a big step toward wider acceptance of legally recognized unions between couples of the same sex, both in the state and the country.

Lambda Legal senior attorney Jennifer Pizer, who led the lawsuit on behalf of eight gay couples, applauded the decision by King County Superior Court Judge William Downing, which declared that a state law limiting marriage to men and women was unconstitutional.

"We all knew when this case began that the trial court is the first step," Pizer told reporters.

In his ruling, Judge Downing said state law was unconstitutional because "the privilege of civil marriage and the various privileges conferred by that status are not being made equally available to all citizens."

Equal Protection challenges - the key that'll unlock that marriage door.

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