Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Washington State Court Says NO to Marriage Equality

I just read the news that the Washington State Court, in a 5 -4 ruling, upheld the state's Defense of Marriage Act in a suit brought by 19 same sex couples for the right to marry.

I am saddened that another state court has decided that there is a constitutional reason to deny marriage to couples of the same sex. And, I am deeply disturbed by the rational of the decision. Like the NY decision a few weeks ago, the Court based their decision on the ability of a couple to biologically procreate.

This is the actual quote: "DOMA is constitutional because...limiting marriage to opposite sex couples furthers procreation, essential to the survival of the human race..."

So, does that mean that fertility tests are next for heterosexual couples seeking to marry in Washington State? Infertile couples can't further procreation (except with the same help available to same sex couples!), neither can couples where the woman is past menopause. But, wait...maybe there needs to be testing to be sure a couple actually is planning to have children before a marriage licensed can be issued? After all, there are many heterosexual couples who choose not to have children despite their fertility ability; perhaps they will be denied the right to get married as well.

"Survival of the human race" may have been a justification for marriage in biblical times, but Genesis 2 recognized that people marry for companionship, emotional attachment, and sex. Procreation isn't even mentioned in this account of creation.

Perhaps the five judges in Washington State would have been more honest if they had just admitted that they were uncomfortable with same sex sexual behavior and same sex couples and left it at that. As it stands, their decision legitimizes discrimination and denies the rights of marriage to loving same sex couples.

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