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Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Guest columnist

Court was right to stay out of gay-marriage debate

Special to The Times

Today's court ruling is a win for our democratic process and the majority of Washington citizens who believe marriage is between a man and a woman.

Our Legislature passed a law several years ago that clearly defines marriage this way, and it would have been a travesty if the court had ignored the will of the people and those elected to serve them in Olympia. I believe the family unit is the proper place to create, raise and care for our children.

We have to remember that this case is as much about the separation of powers and upholding the constitution as it is about marriage. When you take the intense emotions out of this issue, what remains is the fact that it is the Legislature's duty and right to define marriage, not the court's. While the judicial branch has a history of legislating from the bench, I am very pleased that in this case, they recognized the clear and concise separation of powers and upheld the Legislature's intent.

However, I'm sure we've not seen the last of this issue. There will probably be legislation introduced this next session in an effort to overturn the court's ruling. I welcome this challenge. The Legislative branch of government — the branch that is held most accountable to the people — is the only proper arena in which to advocate for change.

Hewitt is the State Senate Republican leader from Walla Walla.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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