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California Supreme Court Hears Gay Marriage Arguments

The California Supreme Court heard over three hours of oral arguments for and against same-sex marriage, yesterday.

In 2004, the Supreme Court of California invalidated over 4,000 same-sex marriages authorized by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Citing Proposition 22, a 2000 state initiative which legally defined marriage as between a man and a woman, the Court said the same-sex marriages violated state law. Twelve couples, along with the City of San Francisco sued the state of California, arguing that the law is unconstitutional.

For some of the arguments presented during oral arguments read more.

Defending the current definition of marriage, the State of California argued that is up to the legislature to successfully change the definition of marriage. (Note that two bills removing the opposite-sex requirement have been vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.) In addition, the state argued that the Domestic Partnership Act makes sure that same-sex partners receive the same state benefits granted under marriage, therefore preventing discrimination. Conservative groups, also argued that marriage is meant for pro-creation.

The same-sex couples, along with the city likened the prohibition on same-sex marriage to laws banning interracial marriage. And they said that the domestic partnership is akin to the legacy of "separate but equal."

Do you agree with that argument?

Click here for a comprehensive chronicle of the long battle.


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