Ferguson joins fellow AGs in opposing gay marriage bans

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Washington voters reversed a ban on gay marriage here last year. Now the state’s attorney general is joining others to argue that bans on same-sex marriage in other states are unconstitutional.

Bob Ferguson is one of 15 attorneys general, most from states with marriage equality, weighing in against Hawaii and Nevada’s bans that are under scrutiny in a pair of federal court cases. They filed a brief Friday before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

It’s the second time Ferguson has thrown his office’s support behind marriage equality. The first involved two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, which would go on to declare a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

“While state laws in Hawaii and Nevada provide many rights and protections for same-sex couples, they still deny marriage,” Ferguson said in a statement. “Washington granted same-sex couples the right to marry and we have a clear interest in ensuring all states respect marriages that are valid under Washington law.”

Led by Massachusetts, the states and the District of Columbia are arguing that states with same-sex marriage have had positive experiences. They say Hawaii and Nevada marriage laws treat gays and lesbians as second-class citizens.

The states are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia.