Thursday, August 31, 2006

Washington Request to Reconsider Gay Marriage

Hey - I'm back!
Swamped with work since being off last week in Disneyland. Our trip was excellent! Hope to write about it at some point, probably when I should be doing legal research :)
First week of school is going great! So far, the professors are clear, well-organized, and easy to listen to. I meet the last one tonight, so far, I've heard mixed reviews from fellow 2Ls who have not met him but either. We'll see.

Anyway, too busy to actually come up with anything creative to write myself, by wanted to share this:
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Gays ask court to reconsider marriage ruling
Gay and lesbian couples are asking the state Supreme Court to reconsider its July ruling that bars them from getting married in Washington.
Such requests are rarely granted, but the couples' lawyers said Tuesday that the stakes are too high to let the opportunity pass.

"We felt that we had to use every option available to us to show the justices the logic behind our arguments and how their decision as it is currently reasoned falls short," said Nancy Sapiro of the Northwest Women's Law Center.

State lawmakers are justified in defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, the Supreme Court held in its splintered 5-4 ruling.
The decision overruled two lower court decisions -- one in King County and one in Thurston County -- that found the state's 1998 Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.
The high court must now decide whether to rule on the couples' motion to reconsider the issue or seek a response from the other parties in the case.

"We believe the decision was correct, so if they call for an answer, we will certainly urge the court not to change its mind," said Assistant Attorney General Bill Collins, who defended the state's existing marriage law.

The losing side often asks the court to reconsider in cases that sharply divided the court -- such as a 5-4 or 6-3 ruling. But Collins said that in his 29 years as a state attorney, he has seen the court change its decision just twice.

Lawyers for the 19 couples in the combined gay marriage case relied on a pair of legal arguments in their motion asking the court to reconsider. The court's finding that the Legislature had a "rational basis" for seeking to regulate marriage was flawed, plaintiffs argued.
"They couldn't show any reason how it could hurt opposite-sex couples if same-sex couples get married, or why same-sex couples' children wouldn't equally benefit if their parents could get married," said Jon Davidson, a lawyer with the gay rights group Lambda Legal.

The ruling also overlooked an aspect of the state constitution's sex discrimination protections, the plaintiffs argued, by not recognizing that the gay marriage law treats individuals differently based on their gender -- a man can marry a woman, but a woman can't do the same.

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