A second US judge has ruled the state of Washington’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional and said there is no “compelling reason” to limit marriage to heterosexuals.

The decision by Thurston County Superior Court Judge Richard Hicks came a month after a judge in the city of Seattle also declared same-sex couples must be allowed to marry.

Hicks ruled that the state’s Defence of Marriage Act, which was passed in 1998 limiting marriage to a contract between a man and a woman, was unconstitutional.

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