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Reactions to the Washington marriage ruling

The bible beaters and wingnuts are gloating, as expected. I don’t like reading these, but we need to. It shows you that the bible-beating bigots will not rest until every one of us is back in the closet, with the door padlocked shut.

“This court has avoided becoming another example of judicial tyranny, properly recognizing that the state Legislature had already defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman when it passed the state’s Defense of Marriage Act in 1998 by a wide margin. The five justices in the majority have respected the will of the people as expressed through their elected representatives and have refused to usurp their role in the democratic process. Two of the four dissenting justices will face re-election this fall — and the people of Washington will have the opportunity to express their disgust for these justices’ arrogant attempt to engage in social engineering.”
Focus on the Anus‘s James Dobson

“The court is to be applauded for exercising restraint and leaving determinations about life’s most fundamental institution in the hands of the people,”
— Brian Fahling, senior trial attorney at the American Family Association’s Center for Law & Policy

“The long and the short of it is, this is a decision upholding the separation of powers doctrine, recognizing that any rewrite of marriage laws should not come from the courts — but if it’s to come at all, it must come from the legislature…Our side needs to recognize that this battle is far from over. They are actually going out and attempting to target the grassroots citizens of America, trying to win over the moms and pops in Middle America with emotional pleas, putting forward their hand-picked kind of couple that will give the best, but a false kind of impression as to what same-sex marriage is all about.”
— CLP chief counsel Steve Crampton

“We praise the Washington Supreme Court for demonstrating judicial restraint and leaving this matter where it belongs – in the hands of the people and their elected representatives. The voters have spoken as these state amendments continue to pass overwhelmingly across the country. Recent rulings in favor of marriage have shown that the courts are not immune to the political reality that Americans are determined to protect marriage.

However, the narrow ruling emphasizes the need for vigilance on the part of the American people. The American people are prepared to defend marriage, so that it will not be destroyed by a select few.

In state after state, homosexual activists continue to take their attack on the definition of marriage to the courts, thus attempting to usurp the right of the people to decide this issue. Lawsuits still pending in several other states, demonstrate that marriage is in fact at risk, as long as the courts have the final say on marriage. Only passage of a Marriage Protection Amendment to the U.S. Constitution will take the future of marriage out of the hands of judges and bring these extremist lawsuits to an end.”
Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins

“While we applaud today’s court decision in Washington, radical activists will remain undeterred in their attacks on marriage in state and federal courts. It is important to remember that the battle to protect marriage is a marathon not a sprint, and AFM’s Marriage Protection Amendment is clearly the only hope for the American people to determine the future of marriage under our laws…Most Americans believe that gays and lesbians have a right to live as they choose. But they don’t believe they have a right to redefine marriage for our entire society.”
–Matt Daniels, president of the Alliance for Marriage

“We are pleased that this latest attempt by the homosexual agenda to radically redefine our culture has been stopped dead in its tracks. . . Today’s decision upholding traditional marriage is a devastating setback to same-sex marriage proponents. Today is a great day for marriage and the family.”
Mathew D. Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel

These folks will use homo straw man over and over politically, no matter how much Dems wish the issue of gay civil equality would go away. While this topic may not rank as high on the hit list as our military boondoggles, corruption at the highest levels of government, the environment or the economy, Democrats telling people to ignore these messages coming out of the Republican Base is lunacy. It didn’t work in 2004, it won’t work now.

When you don’t take a strong position on this issue (one way or another), people in the middle who may be considering voting Dem notice and speculate anyway. It’s easy to be against a federal amendment, but what is a candidate’s position on all these state marriage amendments and now, the future legislative efforts to gain marriage equality as these cases in WA and NY have resulted in punts?

Is it A-OK that civil rights of a minority should be decided by popular vote? Candidates need to answer that simple question, because it’s not a hypothetical situation. There’s really no place for these pols to hide any more.

From supporters:

MassEquality campaign director Marc Solomon on Washington State Supreme Court ruling:

“The decision from Washington State is disappointing. Our thoughts are with those couples in Washington who have made a loving commitment to one another and deserve full equal protection under the law. We’ve always known that the path to equality would be marked by victories and setbacks. Today we experienced a setback, but we are confident that equality is a true American value that will eventually prevail.”
MassEquality campaign director Marc Solomon

“One of the first fears a parent has when they discover they have a gay, lesbian or bisexual son or daughter is that their child will be denied the basic right to get married. While many gay and lesbian couples choose to have a commitment ceremony and start families, this decision leaves them continuing to lack the basic and essential legal protections for their children and for themselves that only legal civil marriage can provide.”
Marcie Mathis, the Pacific Northwest Regional director for PFLAG

“While this might seem like a minor thing to some people, it is a vivid example of how the lifelong commitments of our loved ones are treated as second class. Today the Washington State Supreme Court effectively shut the door on equality, and we will be looking to the legislature to open that door to all families.”
Kathy Reim, a PFLAG mom in Bellingham, WA

“A defeat like today is immensely disappointing. We learn from history that social change takes time … and public support has been growing quite quickly.”
Jennifer Pizer, senior legal counsel for gay rights group Lambda Legal

And local reaction:

“I continue to believe that marriage equality is a fundamental civil rights issue. I wish the court had ruled differently, but I respect its decision, and as a public servant I am committed to upholding the law.”
— King County Executive Ron

“I don’t see why gay people shouldn’t have the right to commit themselves to a lifelong partnership the way anyone else does.”
–Devin Booth, 27, of Seattle-Tacoma, outside the store off Broadway where he works selling books.

“My real emotion is bewilderment. Knowing my relationship with my partner – which is my miracle – can cause so much prejudice, I can’t figure it out.”
— Jo Palm, 70, who’s been in a relationship for 21 years.

“I’m confident the value of all marriage, especially gay marriage, will be both respected and valued for its benefits to both the community and family values.”
–Buckley Wild, 52, an educator from Seattle

“Today’s decision from the Washington Supreme Court is disappointing, not just for our neighbors to the north, but for all Americans who care about fundamental fairness and equality under the law.”
–Frank Dixon, Basic Rights Oregon Interim Executive Director

“This is the right thing for our children, families and our communities. It is good public policy for the state to encourage marriage between a man and a woman.”
— Sen. Val Stevens, Lake Stevens Republican

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding