Over the past few weeks, the Board of Governors has received both positive and negative feedback to our decision to endorse R-74 on marriage equality regardless of sexual preference. Since 2008, the Board has had a policy supporting marriage equality based on the relationship among civil marriage, the administration of justice, and the practice of law. The Board found that predictability and fairness in laws that protect property rights, parental rights, and access to the justice system are necessary for lawyers to fulfill their duties to their clients and serve the interests of justice.
I understand and respect that some WSBA members may not agree with the Board. There was, in fact, some disagreement among the Board in the vote on R-74. But ultimately the majority of Board members supported the position that we took in 2008. I personally believe that equal access to civil marriage, and all of the social and material rights and responsibilities it entails, is a basic part of an effective legal system, as well as a civil right of all Washingtonians.