Ferguson backs equality in Supreme Court cases
 

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posted Friday, March 1, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 9

Ferguson backs equality in Supreme Court cases
WA attorney general joins briefs against DOMA, Prop 8

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Washington state's new attorney general, Bob Ferguson, has signed on to briefs supporting marriage equality in both USA v. Windsor, the DOMA case, and Hollingsworth v. Perry, the case challenging California's Prop 8. Both cases are now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

'Washington has a clear interest in supporting marriage equality and in ensuring the federal government respects marriages that are valid under Washington law,' Ferguson said in a statement released February 28.

'I am proud that Washington played an active role in developing the strong arguments in these briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court supporting marriage equality for couples in Washington and across the country.'

The Perry brief was filed February 28. It is signed by 13 states, including Washington, and the District of Columbia. The brief in Windsor will be filed March 1 and will be joined by 15 states - again including Washington - plus D.C.

The Windsor brief supports the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution by denying federal benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married under the laws of their state.

CITES IMPACT ON STATE
'This case has a direct impact on Washington families. Couples who are legally married in our state may find themselves in this exact situation - being denied important federal benefits,' Ferguson said.

'This is fundamentally unfair, and we must stand up for the rights of the people of our state. Washington will have its voice heard in this critical debate.'

The states that joined the Perry brief include Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.

The attorney general of California filed a separate brief in Perry supporting equal marriage rights, because the case originates in California.

The states that joined the Windsor brief include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear the Prop 8 case on March 26 and the DOMA case the next day.



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