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Reactions from online readers
The state Supreme Court decision upholding Washington's ban on gay marriage drew quick response from readers. Here's a sample of what they had to say.
None of the possible decisions would have meant the end of the battle for equality. I've always believed that, but I still feel punched in the gut by their decision, however thoughtfully written.
— Betsy Cushman, Mazama
Initally, I was horrified — didn't we just pass legislation to protect the rights of homosexually oriented people? What were these people THINKING? But then I actually thought about it and remembered both what the real question was before the bench, and what a judge once told me -- the job of the judge is to interpret the law, and the question before the bench was "Is it legal to do this?" And, at the time the case came before the bench — it was. And the judges did right in saying, essentially, "This is not our decision to make — this is the decision of the voters to make. And, according to the last known wishes of the voters, this is how it is." I agree with John Ward and with Brian, both of Seattle, who commented. The judges did their job and interpreted the law as it stood — now it is up to the rest of us, the VOTERS, to go in and fix the law so that it gives the same rights to EVERYONE.
— Res, Issaquah
I wish that the people trying to "defend marriage" would spend their energy on addressing the climbing divorce rate and the disconnectedness of many modern families rather than on denying civil rights (like health care and tax incentives) to committed domestic partners.
— Diana, Seattle
I strongly disagree with the statement about the nation being divided concerning gay marrige. The Mass. ruling, if nothing else, foused the Light on the issue. Now you can say "from coast to coast" states are rejecting gay marriage. States are passing laws against gay marriages and High Courts are supporting them. So I believe the divisionwasn't or isn't as deep as we are led to think. I do support DOMA even though I'm divorced.
— Price Cochran, Seattle
How tragic that a one vote difference has placed gay & lesbian citizens in the back of the bus. It is truly a sad day for all those seeking equality and justice. And while Britney Spears can be married and divorced in a day, we are not afforded the validity, benefits, nor protections for our thirty year partnership:( No struggle for human rights is easy. We must continue to seek equality and justice will ultimately prevail.
— Susan, Bainbridge Isalnd
As a straight man, I too am disappointed by todays decision. Not only do our leaders prove once again their great ability to focus on issues that are regressing us as a society to an era where we fall behind that of the rest of the world, but now we actually go so boldly as to enact it into law as well? Amazing. We're such a progressive blue state I could just be sick.
— Jon, Federal Way
This is horrible news. I reacted with tears and now I'm ready to fight. For those that say "what about the children?" What about MY children? Are they somehow less worthy because they had the "misfortune" of being born to a lesbian mother? And who says that they should have been following the "will of the people"? Weren't they supposed to look at the constitutionality of the law? Not if "god" or whoever said so?? Seperation of church and state...'tcha right.
— Carry, Lynnwood
I agree and applaud the decision. The court upheld the law. I believe DOMA is in the best interest of society.
— Deb, Bellevue
Marriage has been and should always be between a man and a woman. Period. I have friends that are gay and lesbian and do not judge their lifestyle choice. But just like having children takes a man and a women, I also agree that marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman.
— Stephanie, Seattle
Common sense in the People's Republic of Washington? Awesome!
— Steve, Kent
Having just read the plurality's decision, I think the Court's analysis for this case is sustained by a single thread: the lack of conclusive scientific evidence that being gay is intrinsic to a person's biological make up and is not behavioral in nature - allowing the plurality to rule that gays and lesbians do not rise to the level of a suspect class. When the day invariably arrives, and science catches up with what most rationale people already know - that you're either born gay, or you're not - then any ban on same-sex marriage will be unable to withstand a 14th Amendment equal protection challenge. I look forward to that day. Until then, let history be our judge.
— Dave, Seattle
I am deeply disappointed by today's decision, but I understand Justice Madsen's explanation that the court is deferring to legislative rule. So, state legislature? Let's get rid of the DOMA; it's the right things for Washington families and for human rights.
— Lauren, Seattle
Like many here I am sadden. I am married to a black woman. We still do not go to some places in the US because of fears of discremination. Maybe the emotionalism could be taken out of it by changing the word from marriage to pairrage with all of the same benefits. Just a thought.
— David, Milton
The truth is that people need to start understanding the functions of the different branches of government. It is the right of the legislature to enact laws and the courts to interpret them. This was the right decision by the court, deferring to the will of the people through their elected officials. If you want things to change, vote, vote in every election, primary and general.
— Justin, Seattle
I'm so pleased the court upheald the ban on gay marriage. They have shown the respect the wishes of Washington voters and the sacred union of marriage! It has restored my faith in the judicial process!
— Ashley, Seattle
Sometimes the only thing worse than legislating from the bench is legislating from the legislature. DOMA was a bad law passed by cynical lawmakers. This November, think about that when you cast your vote.
— Joe Murphy, Seattle
As a gay man, I am disappointed by today's decision. But, the court is correct. It is now up to our elected officials to strike down DOMA.
This is amazing. I totally expected this state to "legislate from the bench." I am very pleased the judges respected the wishes of Washington's voters. I was proven wrong to, and thankfully so.
This decision is sad. I was really hoping for fairness and equality to win out. It will eventually...nothing lights a fire like a dream deferred!— Rebecca Lane, Seattle
My reaction is tears. It is incredibly sad and disappointing that the court has chosen to allow a discriminatory law to remain in place.
I am a person, I am equal — no better or worse than anybody else. My commitment to my partner is real, my marriage is real. State of Washington, People of Washington — how could you?— Elaine, Seattle
The court made the correct decision. The legislature does have the ability to codify into law the will of the people in this matter. It is nice to see judges restrain themselves from legislating from the bench.
I am horribly disappointed, surprised, saddened for my family — me and my partner and our two daughters and our son in utero. How the people of this state and this nation can not recognize us as a family is beyond me. My hopes for our marriage in my lifetime have been dashed. The decision is wrong, and eventially this will change, as it has in Europe and Canada, but my hopes that this will happen anytime soon are gone.
Someday we will look back at this and wonder how lawmakers could be so shortsighted and discriminatory. Remember when women couldn't vote? We will evolve, it is just a shame these Judges failed this time. As a teacher trying to rid our society of hate and discrimination, I see that my children's generation maybe the ones to end discrimination of a minority group of our society. There is hope despite these misguided Judges.
I believe legal discrimination should not extend to gender! I could not imagine the law NOT allowing me to marry the person I love! How cruel we have become in our discrimination. I am a heterosexual by the way, thank the lord I wasn't born gay, I couldn't bear the discrimination!— Craig Moore, Federal Way
Why should I celebrate when U.S. courts simply do the right thing? I expect it of them. Gay marriage is a travesty. If legalized, there would be no legal precedent against the further legalization of polygamy AND polyamory. These are the facts, folks. Don't kid yourselves; this is a moral civil war, and we are winning.
I am very disappointed that the court found that inequality is constitutional in our state. What logical reason could the justices have to prevent loving, stable relationships — with the same protections other couples enjoy? The bigots won.
Marrige is an ordinance that God gave for a MAN AND A WOMAN to be together as one. God's word is FINAL!— James, Seattle
Typical baloney-all arguments are based on biblical preaching. I thought we were supposed to separate church and state. We are right back to the days before the civil war when the wouldn't let people of color marry. When are people going to realize everyone is equal-love has no boundries.
It appears the courts properly fulfilled their responsibility of interpeting the present law. The court chose not to be activists and backdoor the people of this state. This is a long process that ultimately would end with legislation that expands marriage to include every one.
Hurrah!! A decision supporting human decency, a decision that supports my 'traditional marriage' and the traditional values my wife and myself are wanting our children to learn. This ruling is a blessing for current and future generations of all children. Thank you Supreme Court!!!— Rex Phillips, Lynnwood
This is a very sad day indeed. When will the government stop dictating how we live our private lives? Separation of church and state? The pursuit of happiness? Those "ideals" were just thrown out the window by our "esteemed" Supreme Court. The religious right wins again.
I applaud the court for protecting children by ensuring they will have a father and a mother to raise them, not two mommies or 2 daddies. Gays can do whatever they want in the privacy of the bedroom but do not need social approval for it through recognized marriage. I will not sanction their lifestyle or more aptly put, their deathstyle. I plan to send my thanks to Charles Johnson, James Johnson, Rick Sanders, Gerry Alexander and Barbara Madsen.
DOES ANYONE reading this believe for one second that Alexander and Johnson didn't concur for any reasons except they were terrified they would get their butts kicked in November if they didn't?— Hinton, Seattle
Disgusting! I am ashamed to live in this state. I was already ashamed to live in this country.
It was the right decision and frankly I'm surprised they made it.
It's a sad day for civil rights. I am a gay man who has been in a stable relationship for ten years. We should have the rights as everyone else has. Sad, sad, sad. The family is weakened by this decision and hate reigns.— rdp, Seattle
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company