In 2004, Seattle's Mayor signed an executive order directing all City departments to recognize same-sex marriages entered into by its employees in other states or countries for the purpose of granting employee benefits. The executive order can be found here:
In response, the California-based Pacific Justice Institute (http://www.pacificjustice.org/) filed suit, claiming that the Mayor's actions violated Washington's Defense of Marriage Act. In pertinent part, the act (R.C.W. 26.04.010) provides as follows:
"Marriage is a civil contract between a male and a female who have each attained the age of eighteen years, and who are otherwise capable."
The trial court rejected the challenge. PJI filed an appeal, but then put their appeal on hold pending the Washington Supreme Court's ruling on the constitutionality of Washington's Defense of Marriage Act. After the Washington Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Act, PJI revived its appeal, which was recently argued before the Washington Court of Appeals.
You can find the Mayor's public defense of the executive order's constitutionality here: http://www.seattle.gov/mayor/issues/gay_qa.htm. The first part of his defense--that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional--has been rejected by the Washington Supreme Court (although the Washington Supreme Court did not reach its constitutionality under the Federal constitution, only the state one). But the second part of his defense would still seem to hold: that nothing in the Act purports to preempt a city law such as the executive order.
It seems like a no-brainer of a case, but I have not been able to get my hands on any briefs in the case. Any thoughts on the issue?