gay_marriage.jpg Today's ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court upholding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) leaves some clear winners and losers in its wake.

Losers:

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Marriage Winners and Losers

Fallout from the ruling.

gay_marriage.jpgToday's ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court upholding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) leaves some clear winners and losers in its wake.

Losers: Washington State Republicans

The Republicans are facing a horrible mid-term election year. An unpopular President Bush, a hated Iraq war, high gas prices, and numerous capital corruption scandals should push this Democratic leaning state further to the left. The GOP's best hope was that gay marriage would be legalized and voters would be so shocked and pissed off that they would forget all the bad national news and punish local Democrats.

Winners: U.S Senator Maria Cantwell, 8th District Congressional candidate Darcy Burner, and lots of Democratic legislative candidates.

While Democrats in swing districts (Cantwell has to win swing districts to be reelected) may manifest signs of disappointment in today's ruling, some part of them is celebrating deep inside. Gay marriage will not dominate the campaign trail this fall. Swing Democrats will not have to figure out how to parse this difficult issue. They can focus on not being Republicans.

Loser: Associate Justice Susan Owens

She is already facing a tough re-election fight against state Senator Stephen Johnson, R-Kent and her dissent today in the gay marriage case makes her reelection that much harder. Johnson already has the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW), the Constitutional Law PAC, and the state Republican Party supporting him. This support will mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in independent political expenditures. Since Owens wanted to overturn DOMA, she has earned the wrath of the state's religious right—that means more money and more grassroots organizing against her. Add in the fact that a large segment of the voting public will vote for a judicial candidate named Johnson (Associate Justice Charles Johnson came out of nowhere to beat former Chief Justice Keith Callow in 1990 and Associate Justice Jim "no judicial experience" Johnson bested Appeals Court Judge Mary Becker in 2004) and Owens has a real fight on her hands.

Winner: Chief Justice Gerry Alexander

Since the chief voted to uphold DOMA today, he will face a smaller coalition of radical rightists in the fall. While Alexander has an election opponent in Bellevue Attorney John Groen, who will get huge financial help from the BIAW, at least Alexander won't have the religious right gunning for him. That coupled with Groen's unusual name and Alexander's common one should mean an easy reelection for the chief in November.

 
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