Press Room

August 03, 2004

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HRC Lauds Washington Ruling in Favor of Marriage Equality

'This is a historic decision to end discrimination facing some Washington families,' said HRC President Cheryl Jacques.

WASHINGTON - Human Rights Campaign President Cheryl Jacques made the following statement applauding Washington state's King County Court ruling today in Andersen v. King County in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples and that a law prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying violates the state constitution. The case was brought by eight same-sex couples seeking the right to marry under the state constitution.

"This is a historic decision to end discrimination facing some Washington families. Same-sex couples pay taxes and contribute to society. There's no reason to deny any family the same rights and responsibilities as others.

"No churches, mosques or synagogues will be forced to change practices or policies. And this decision takes nothing away from other marriages. It would only give same-sex couples the opportunity to make a personal choice to form a lifelong commitment and receive the same rights and obligations under law, such as the ability to make medical decisions on behalf of a loved one and keep the home you've shared when a loved one passes.

"The plaintiff families and Northwest Women's Law Center and Lambda Legal are to be commended for bringing this case forward.

"Hopefully someday very soon, all Washingtonians will have the same rights that others have in fulfilling their American dreams."

Further actions in the case are on hold pending an appeal to the Washington state Supreme Court, which will review the trial court's decision that the state's marriage laws violate two separate provisions of the state constitution: the privileges and immunities clause, and the due process rights to privacy and liberty.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

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