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SCOTUS overturns Defense of Marriage Act | Local reactions
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) made what many are hailing as a landmark decision, ruling to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
For those in support of same-sex marriage, the June 26 decision is a significant victory in the decades-long battle for marriage equality.
"It's definitely monumental. It's nice to have recognition at the federal level for my marriage to my husband," said Federal Way resident Geoffery McAnalloy, who has been in a committed relationship with his husband, Devin, for 14 years. The couple have three adopted children and were married in King County last December after same-sex marriage was legalized in the state.
"To finally have equal sitting with heterosexual couples, and to not be viewed as second-class citizens at the federal level…it's a time to be joyous," he said.
Gov. Jay Inslee shared his support for the SCOTUS ruling, posting a rainbow flag picture with a #loveislove hashtag on his Facebook page, and writing:
"I could not be more proud to see the U.S. Supreme Court take a long overdue stand for equality, fairness and family," Inslee wrote. "Marriage is for two people in love and it is past time for our country to not just recognize that, but honor it. Washington state is a leader in marriage equality and today's ruling means the benefits and recognition of marriage offered to couples here in our state will be offered equally across our nation."
State Attorney General Bob Ferguson also issued a response from his office, saying June 26 was a "great day for marriage equality both in Washington state and across the country."
SCOTUS found that section 3 of DOMA was unconstitutional on Fifth Amendment rights, arguing in its 5-4 decision that it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Fifth Amendment) by denying federal benefits to same-sex couples who were legally married under the laws of their state.
Section 3's wording declared that any time "marriage" or "spouse" appears in a federal law, it was only applicable to marriages between a man and a woman.
According to Ferguson's office, Washington joined 14 other states and the District of Columbia in a "friend-of-the-court" brief, agreeing with a previous court's decision that DOMA was unconstitutional.
"This ruling is vitally important to the people of Washington. Now that Washington voters have approved same-sex marriage, couples in our state could have found themselves in similar situations being denied federal benefits provided to other couples," Ferguson said. "It was important that Washington's voice be heard in this case."