Equal Rights Washington is elated that seven married same-sex couples and three widowers from Massachusetts won their lawsuit which claimed that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. U.S. District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro ruled the plaintiffs are entitled to the same federal spousal benefits and protections as any other married couple.
A second suit brought by the State of Massachusetts yielded a similar holding. Here in Washington State, State Justices are elected and ultra-conservative interests have spent millions on electing conservative judges. In 2010, three State Supreme Court Justices who failed to rule Washington State's DOMA unconstitutional are up for re-election. It's time to elect fair minded justices who are committed to upholding the constitution not protecting conservative special interests. Please make a contribution to ERW PAC by clicking here.
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Today's decision is a prime example of why ERW PAC is deeply committed to electing Equality-minded State Supreme Court Justices. We need to elect judges in Washington State who will uphold the Constitution. To help us ensure justice prevails in Washington State, please make a contribution to ERW PAC by clicking here.
As excited as we are about today's rulings, which will be appealed to higher courts, we are keenly aware that Washington State does not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. We have been trying to engage the public in a conversation about why domestic partnerships are not the same as marriage. Today's ruling helps explain the difference. The Court in Massachusetts said the federal government cannot distinguish between gay and straight couples with valid marriages. The court did not suggest that gay and lesbian couples with domestic partnerships or civil unions are entitled to the federal protections conferred on couples with legal marriages. Domestic Partnerships and Civil Unions are not marriage by another name. They are a lesser inferior legal status. We need to elect fair minded justices who will not Issue holdings that allow second class citizenship for Washington's gay and lesbian families. Please make a contribution to ERW PAC by clicking here.
Evan Wolfson at Freedom to Marry said this about today's decision:
"Today's ruling affirms what we have long known: federal discrimination enacted under DOMA is unconstitutional. The decision will be appealed and litigation will continue. But what we witnessed in the courtroom cannot be erased: federal marriage discrimination harms committed same-sex couples and their families for no good reason.
Today's ruling provides increased momentum to the national movement to end exclusion from marriage and Freedom to Marry's Roadmap to secure the freedom to marry nationwide. The crucial work of changing hearts and minds and winning the freedom to marry in more states is more urgent than ever as we build on today's momentum and encourage other decision-makers to do the right thing and end exclusion from marriage."
Keep talking to your friends and family about marriage equality!