Wash. joins states filing briefs on gay marriage

Washington is joining more than a dozen other states filing briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of gay marriage.

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Thursday that he joined friend-of-the-court briefs in two landmark cases — one urging the justices to strike down California’s Proposition 8, which outlawed gay marriage, and another challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

That filing argues that DOMA violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by denying federal benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married under the laws of their state.

Washington voters approved gay marriage in last fall’s election. Ferguson says the state has a clear interest in supporting marriage equality.

He notes that some Washington residents who are federal employees could be denied benefits under DOMA.