Statutory ban[ edit ] In , the Washington Legislature , in response to events in Hawaii that suggested that the state might legalize same-sex marriage,  passed a bill that would define marriage as the union of a man and a woman and deny legal recognition to same-sex marriages established elsewhere. The vote was 63 to 35 in the House and 27 to 19 in the Senate. He wrote in his veto message: This legislation fails to meet this test.
Instead, he vetoed it a second time, saying that "Our laws right now prohibit same-gender marriages, and I oppose this legislation because it is trying to make illegal something that is already illegal". Democrats who feared the impact of having the legislation on the November ballot helped override his veto. One Democratic leader in the House said: I'll stand up and say it's a bad bill, but it's even worse to have this issue on the ballot.
Locke's veto came within the hour. Then both houses voted summarily to override the veto. No one could remember the last time a bill was passed, vetoed and overridden within hours—with almost no discussion and no debate. Hara[ edit ] In , in Seattle , in one of the first same-sex marriage lawsuits in the U.
The Washington Court of Appeals denied the claim in in Singer v. The Washington Supreme Court refused to review the decision. King County[ edit ] Main article: King County Andersen v. Sims On March 8, , six same-sex couples represented by Lambda Legal filed suit in state court challenging the constitutionality of Washington's Defense of Marriage Act. The four constitutional claims were based on due process, privacy, equal protection and gender equality.
Downing issued an opinion in Andersen v. Sims that said the state had no rational basis for excluding same-sex couples from the rights and benefits of marriage. The decision concluded that the state law limiting marriage to different-sex couples violated sections of the Constitution that required due process and equal protection of the laws.
The court did not require the state to allow same-sex couples to marry, but mandated the creation of a civil union status that would provide all the rights and benefits of marriage to same-sex couples. Downing stayed enforcement of his order pending appeal to the Washington Supreme Court.
State On April 1, , eleven same-sex couples represented by the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit in state court challenging Washington's laws that ban same-sex couples from marrying. It also sought recognition of marriages performed legally in other jurisdictions. Hicks ruled in Castle v.
State that the state's marriage laws violated the equal protection of privileges and immunities clause of the State Constitution. Consolidated as Andersen v. Sims and Castle v. State, for review as Andersen v. It heard oral arguments on March 8, On July 26, , it reversed the trial courts' determinations in a ruling.
The majority opinion focused on the constitutionality of the Legislature's enactment of the state's Defense of Marriage Act limiting the privileges of marriage to opposite-sex couples. In October , the court refused to reconsider its ruling.
The group's stated rationale was to prompt public examination of the premise that marriage exists for the purpose of procreation and to create a test case in which Andersen would be reversed.
The initiative's sponsors withdrew it on July 3, after failing to gather a sufficient number of signatures to qualify for the November ballot.
Same-sex marriage law[ edit ] Advocates of marriage rights for same-sex couples, lacking the votes in the Legislature to accomplish their objective, instead focused on enacting domestic partnerships that would grant such couples a subset of the rights that attach to marriage.
A law to this effect was approved by the Legislature. This legal status was also made available under certain circumstances to different-sex couples. The legislation took effect on April 22, Republican Dan Swecker introduced four amendments that failed on a party line vote of Republican Don Benton asked for the legislation to be placed on the November ballot as a referendum and his motion failed by a vote.
The bill was reported out of the committee by a vote. The House of Representatives took up the same measure and passed it out of the Judiciary Committee on January 30 by a party-line vote. Same-sex marriage referendum[ edit ] Play media Some of the first same-sex couples to be married in Washington proceed to welcoming crowds down the steps of Seattle City Hall , December 9, Opponents of the legalization of same-sex marriage delayed its implementation by collecting the signatures necessary to put the measure to a popular vote on November 6, , as Referendum Because Washington requires a three-day waiting period excluding the day of issue before a marriage certificate may be signed, the first same-sex marriages in the state took place on December 9, This net impact would result from savings in state expenditures on means-tested public benefits programs and from an increase in sales tax revenue from weddings and wedding-related tourism.