|Your account||Today's news index||Weather||Traffic||Movies||Restaurants||Today's events|
Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - Page updated at 3:30 p.m.
Same-sex marriage is legal in Washington state, King County Superior Court Judge William Downing ruled today. Downing said the state's Defense of Marriage Act, which limits marriage to one man and one woman, is unconstitutional.
We asked people why they agree or disagree with the judge's decision today.
I'm not a law major, but all I hear is "the bible says it's not right." Hmmmmm... I thought there was a separation of church and state, yet it keeps sneaking in there when it's convenient. Just because a couple happens to be of the same sex, doesn't make them less human, less capable of loving and bad parents. Who are we to judge what is in people's hearts? Isn't that God's job?
Kara Rainwater, Seattle
I completely agree with Judge Downing's ruling. What is at issue here is whether or not the state has a compelling reason to discriminate, and he rightfully found that it doesn't. This has nothing to do with religion, but instead what rights and responsibilities can be bestowed on which members of our community.
Zan McColloch-Lussier, Seattle
There is a legal as well as a social context to the issue of "gay marriage." The desire for legal arrangements between couples is legitimate, and is satisfied by a "domestic partnership" recognition. Marriage is a social institution designed to protect women and their children from the natural tendencies of men to wander; as such it is inappropriate for a gay couple.
Bob Condon, Clyde Hill
I think it was the only ruling the judge could make. It was the right thing to do.
Barney Larson, Spokane
I read the full opinion and found it to be thorough and well-reasoned. Providing equal recognition for the relationships of same sex couples will strengthen the institution of marriage, not weaken it.
Scott Holleman, Seattle
As a Seattle transplant now living in the Bible Belt, today's court ruling has provided yet another reason for me to feel proud of my home town and hopefully, another reason to relocate to my home state.
Richard Seraile, Atlanta
Of course I agree! This is the best news (on any topic) to come out of Washington state in decades. I think I'll move back to Seattle....
Peter O'Driscoll, Baltimore
Good for Judge Downing. Don't people have anything better to do in this time of serious global problems than impose their perception of the "morality" of other people's family arrangements on the rest of society? It's unfortunate in this age of information that such small-mindedness and ignorance still exists.
— Marlo Mytty, Seattle
I absolutely agree! There should be NO discrimination based on sexual orientation!
— Janis Weltzin, Seattle
As parents, we often have discussions on how scary it is to raise our children in today's society. But no one seems to be interested in morals or values anymore. Just on making sure that drugs, corruption and the complete breakdown of the family is encouraged. Same sex marriage? I think these judges participated in the extracurricular activities of the '60s. Too bad they can't focus on doing something positive with their careers instead of making decisions to completely disgrace what most of the American people KNOW and have voted against. Man this country is in serious trouble.
— Peggy Maher-Dreher, California
Since half (or more) of all marriages are ending in divorce now, it is hard to see how same sex marriages could possibly destroy the "sanctity" of marriage!
— Eric Wangsten, Redmond
A very cowardly decision and lack of thought for the future would be proper analysis. A very shallow judgment from a very shallow judge.
— Maury Brown, Seattle
I think that the judge's ruling was dead on. To deny two loving people the equal rights of a married man and woman is preposterous and unconstitutional. Just because someone's religion denounces gay marriage is no reason to deny gays their secular (mind you) constitutional rights.
— Lindsay Brandon, Seattle
I agree with Judge Downing that there is no compelling evidence that same-sex marriages are a threat to our society. The statistics on divorce and spousal abuse speak for themselves. The blame for the damage done to the institution of marriage over the past 40 years lies with heterosexuals, not gays and lesbians. I feel that the entire issue is a smoke-screen being used by politicians to divert the public's attention from the real issues that are adversely affecting families in America. Unfortunately, with a population that has not been taught to think deeply, these scare tactics often achieve their desired results.
— Henry Lewis, Seattle
A lot of us are missing the point. I don't think anyone can seriously believe that the lawmakers that wrote our U.S. and state constitutions intended for homosexual people to marry. These laws and statutes were obviously meant for "traditional" man/woman relationships. Marriage itself is a fundamentally religious institution and most religions specifically denounce such behavior. It is fair and reasonable for same sex couples to want and expect the same rights as people in normal heterosexual relationships. Legal civil unions would solve this problem and protect the name and institution of marriage from what it was not intended for. Some religions have recently decided that the bible is incorrect and that being gay is OK, but just because you want it to be doesn't make it right.
I absolutely agree with the ruling. Marriage and its commitments should not be considered a "heterosexual only" right. Anything that fosters love and family is a good thing. Love and family are not limited to certain groups. All people and religions should recognize this and embrace it, not fight it. Marriage is defined as a "close union." To limit who is allowed to marry is unjust. Bravo Judge Downing!
Remember when it was against the law for interracial couples to marry? Think that was in 1867 no, it was 1967! It wasn't until 1967 when it was legal for inter-racial couples to marry - and now no one thinks twice about it and society didn't crumble into dust as predicted by the narrow-minded bigots back then. In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the remaining interracial marriage laws nationwide. A Virginia judge had upheld that state's ban on interracial marriages, invoking God's intention to separate the races. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned his decision, declaring that: (1) the freedom to marry belongs to all Americans; (2) marriage is one of our vital personal rights and (3) the right to marry is essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by a free people. What effect does a marriage by any two people have on another couple? None. Nada. Zip. If every gay couple in America got married tomorrow, it would not have any impact on the personal lives of any straight married couples. Gays are not asking for special rights - they're asking for the same rights as anyone else.
Who will gay marriage hurt? No one. If you find the idea of homosexual sex disgusting, that's your problem. If you are looking to the Bible for validation, stop. Your book is not gospel to all. If you're afraid a legal gay marriage will devalue your own marriage, than yours must not be a very strong marriage. Why gay marriage? WHY NOT!
I do not agree with same-sex marriage. Marriage is for love, yes, but also for the protection of the family which includes creation of children. It is a legal and moral state. Homosexuality is not moral. Society cannot continue to ignore the extreme importance of morality. Morality is the cohesive bond which structures the successful purpose of an individual or society. Without this strengthening there is crumbling and chaos.
I will remember this judge come voting time! The people of Washington are full and equal citizens. "Marriage" is available to all citizens. "Marriage" is a union between a man (male) and a woman (female). The bastardization of marriage by those who would have us believe that marriage should include same sex people is a sad commentary on how many heterosexual couples have raised their children. The thinking of people who support same sex marriage or are same-sex orientated already has a perversion of how to raise children. Two wrongs don't make it right! We need to support and educate people on how to have a good and healthy marriage relationship between a man and a woman.
Home delivery | Contact us | Search archive | Site map | Low-graphic
NWclassifieds | NWsource | Advertising info | The Seattle Times Company
Back to top