Same-sex marriage ban upheld in State of Washington

The Washington Supreme Court today upheld the state's 1998 ban on same-sex marriage � a ruling decried by gay activists but heralded by supporters of traditional marriage.

The decision came as a sobering defeat for gays and their advocates, who'd hoped the court would strike down the so-named Defense of Marriage Act � DOMA � which restricts marriage to one man and one woman.

Writing for a 5-4 majority, Justice Barbara Madsen said DOMA is constitutional because in establishing DOMA:

"the legislation was entitled to believe that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers procreation, essential to the survival of the human race and furthers the well-being of children by encouraging families where children are reared in homes headed by children's biological parents."

As such, DOMA does not violate the state Constitution's privileges and immunities clause of the state Constitution, which requires that any benefit granted to one group must be granted equally to all.

"Allowing same sex couples to marry does not, in the legislature's view, further these purposes," she wrote.

Read majority opinion in marriage case

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