February 6, 1998

To the Honorable Speaker and Members,

  The House of Representatives of the State of Washington

Ladies and Gentlemen:

     I am returning herewith, without my approval, Engrossed Substitute House Bill No. 1130 entitled:

"AN ACT Relating to reaffirming and protecting the institution of marriage;"

     This bill would amend the marriage statute by codifying existing case law that prohibits same-gender marriage in Washington.  It also declares that same-gender marriages will not be recognized, even if they are made legal in other states.  ESHB 1130 is essentially identical to Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill No. 5398, which I vetoed on February 21, 1997.

     Subsequent to the 1972 passage of the Equal Rights Amendment to the Washington Constitution, in Singer v. Hara, 11 Wn. App. 247 (1974) our Court of Appeals firmly stated that our existing statute prohibits same-gender marriages in Washington.  The Washington Supreme Court then upheld that decision in Marchioro v. Chaney, 90 Wn.2d 298 (1978).

     The 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act exempts states from having to recognize or give effect to same-gender marriages from other states.  Furthermore, Washington courts have consistently held that marriages not recognized under Washington law will not be upheld in this state, even if they are considered valid in other states.

     Not only is this legislation unnecessary, it serves no legitimate purpose.  For these reasons, I have vetoed Engrossed Substitute House Bill No. 1130 in its entirety.


                   Respectfully submitted,

                   Gary Locke