What impact will Prop 8 decision have on gay marriage in Washington?

AP: 0b171ebe-5391-4218-96f3-2a3b8a4a832d
Prop 8 plaintiffs: Sandy Stier, left, and Kris Perry, listen to the American Foundation for Equal Rights' council commenting on the announcement of California's same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional, in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) | Zoom
With the State House expected to vote on legalizing gay marriage in Washington state on Wednesday, many are now curious what impact a federal judge's ruling will have on Washington.

A federal appeals court has decided that California's ban on same sex marriage was unconstitutional.

"I think the decision in the Prop 8 case would have implications for Washington as well," said University of Washington Law Professor Peter Nichols.

The Legislature is set to approve a measure that would legalize gay marriage in Washington state.

The House is expected to begin debate on the bill at 1 p.m. Wednesday. The measure passed in the Senate last week on a 28-21 vote, and it is expected to easily pass in the House. Once passed by the Legislature, Gov. Chris Gregoire is likely to sign the bill into law next week.

Because there is no emergency clause on the bill, the law wouldn't take effect for 90 days. Opponents have already promised a referendum battle at the ballot, so it's likely it could be put on hold pending the outcome of a November election.

But Nichols says if Washington state's gay marriage bill is overturned by voters using a referendum, the federal appeals court ruling could be used to reverse the decision.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


KIRO Radio Staff, Staff report
Straight from the newsdesk.
Top Stories

  • Holding Out
    Former Seahawk Michael Robinson says you won't see Marshawn Lynch at training camp

  • Wake Up Call
    Lawmakers say a train derailment in Seattle this morning underscores the need for new rules

  • Being Replaced?
    What airplane-building robots actually mean for Boeing Machinists
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.