California Gay Marriage Supreme Court Ruling

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(Political Animal) GAY MARRIAGE UPHELD IN CALIFORNIA....As expected, the California Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, ruled today that state laws banning same-sex marriage are discriminatory:

The long-awaited court decision stemmed from San Francisco's highly publicized same-sex weddings, which in 2004 helped spur a conservative backlash in a presidential election year and a national dialogue over gay rights.

....Today's ruling by the Republican-dominated court affects more than 100,000 same-sex couples in the state, about a quarter of whom have children, according to U.S. census figures.

Here's the conclusion of the majority decision affirming the right of gay couples to marry:

[T]he exclusion of same-sex couples from the designation of marriage works a real and appreciable harm upon same-sex couples and their children. As discussed above, because of the long and celebrated history of the term "marriage" and the widespread understanding that this word describes a family relationship unreservedly sanctioned by the community, the statutory provisions that continue to limit access to this designation exclusively to opposite-sex couples - while providing only a novel, alternative institution for same-sex couples - likely will be viewed as an official statement that the family relationship of same-sex couples is not of comparable stature or equal dignity to the family relationship of opposite-sex couples.

Furthermore, because of the historic disparagement of gay persons, the retention of a distinction in nomenclature by which the term "marriage" is withheld only from the family relationship of same-sex couples is all the more likely to cause the new parallel institution that has been established for same-sex couples to be considered a mark of second-class citizenship.

Finally, in addition to the potential harm flowing from the lesser stature that is likely to be afforded to the family relationships of same-sex couples by designating them domestic partnerships, there exists a substantial risk that a judicial decision upholding the differential treatment of opposite-sex and same-sex couples would be understood as validating a more general proposition that our state by now has repudiated: that it is permissible, under the law, for society to treat gay individuals and same-sex couples differently from, and less favorably than, heterosexual individuals and opposite-sex couples.

In light of all of these circumstances, we conclude that retention of the traditional definition of marriage does not constitute a state interest sufficiently compelling, under the strict scrutiny equal protection standard, to justify withholding that status from same-sex couples. Accordingly, insofar as the provisions of sections 300 and 308.5 draw a distinction between opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples and exclude the latter from access to the designation of marriage, we conclude these statutes are unconstitutional.

And now it goes to the voters. In November we'll see how far we've come in the past eight years.

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WASHINGTON - Thursday's California court ruling striking down that state's ban on gay marriage will spark a fresh push to add a nationwide ban to the U.S. Constitution, Texas Sen. John Cornyn said shortly after the ruling was announced.

"It's certainly surprising. Many of us thought that the efforts to overturn the tradition marriage laws would be confined just to Massachusetts," said Mr. Cornyn, a chief backer of a push to enact a constitutional ban, which failed in 2004. Also Online

California Supreme Court overturns gay marriage ban

The California Supreme Court issued a 4-3 ruling Thursday that overturned a voter-approved ban on gay marriage, finding that domestic partnerships laws are an inadequate substitute for allowing same-sex couples to enter into formal marriages.

Coming from the nation's biggest state, gay and lesbian advocates hailed the ruling as historic. But critics of same-sex marriage were dismayed, Mr. Cornyn among them.

He noted that during congressional debates several years ago, one argument used by opponents of a constitutional ban was that few states allowed such arrangements, making the drastic step premature.

The California development, he said, reopens that argument.

"I do expect it'll generate some more debate, and I'll be happy to contribute to it," said Mr. Cornyn, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, adding that Thursday's ruling also unleashes a slew of questions about whether other states will be forced to recognize same-sex unions from California.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has twice vetoed legislation intended to allow same-sex couples to get married. He said Thursday that he would not support a Constitutional amendment meant to overturn the state high court ruling.

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The California Supreme Court has overturned a gay marriage ban in a ruling that would make the nation's largest state the second one to allow gay and lesbian weddings.

The justices' 4-3 decision Thursday says domestic partnerships are not a good enough substitute for marriage. Chief Justice Ron George wrote the opinion.

...The case before the court involved a series of lawsuits seeking to overturn a voter-approved law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

With the ruling, California could become the second state after Massachusetts where gay and lesbian residents can marry.

And because California already offers domestic partnership which afford same-sex couples the same legal rights as opposite-sex married couples, it doesn't leave opponents of this decision much wiggle-room: If domestic partnerships already guaranteeing the same legal rights are not good enough, there's not a hell of a lot of space to provide yet another alternative to fully. equal. marriage.

Blub.

Of course there's a "coalition of religious and social conservative groups" that is already organizing to try to get a measure"on the November ballot that would enshrine California's current laws banning gay marriage in the state constitution," but fuck them and fuck their bigotry and fuck their retrofuck fuckery. I hear equality coming down the tracks-and they really just need to get the hell out of the way if they don't want to get crushed.

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