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California Supreme Court Overturned Gay Marriage Ban

Just moments ago, the California Supreme Court overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage. The court held that "to the extent the current California statutory provisions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples, these statutes are unconstitutional."

The court ruled 4-3. Unless overturned by the US Supreme Court, gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry in California. The SF Chronicle reports that:

Outside the city clerk's office, three opposite-sex couples were waiting at 10 a.m. for marriage certificates. City officials had prepared for a possible rush on certificates by same-sex couples, but hadn't yet changed the forms that ask couples to fill out the name of the "bride" and "groom."

The case goes back to February 2004, when SF Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered the city clerk to issue marriage licenses to couples regardless of their gender because he doubted the constitutionality of the state marriage law. California's highest court just agreed with him.


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lulita lulita 9 years
Geisha-Runner Geisha-Runner 9 years
Yey! That's fantastic!!! :)
AKirstin AKirstin 9 years
"because it is the best environment for raising well-balanced children and good citizens. Children raised in any single-sex setting are deprived of relationships with those of the opposite gender." *snort* Come on.
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
laine-alot of those studies are done by groups such as the family research council, so they are a bit biased. they also dont take into account the socieo-economic factors, children in a single parent household are more likely to be (for lack of a better term) "latch-key kids", they are also more likely not have the one on one time that a kid needs from their parents (especially if there is more than one child in the household). the simple fact is that it takes a village to raise a child and it really doesnt matter the gender, just that there is someone there.
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
I think this is wonderful! :)
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
hypnotic, I respect your choices whether they are lifestyle choices, or what color kool-aid is best (red!) I have many gay friends male and female, My best friend in high school wasnt "out" but him and I had an understanding not to mention his love of musicals if he didnt mention my barry manilow obession. I dont have to agree with thier choices , or support them 100% in issues, but I am always thier friend, always open to debate and always there to listen. I would be a hypocrite if i were to say I was a christian and hated gays and lesbians. Maybe one day I will see it in a different light
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
Jill: I stepped out of this discussion last night, but your reply was so considered I felt I owed you a response. I know that gay couples have families. They're not even always adopted or lab babies. I have had gay friends since high school--even before one or two of them realized they were gay, I think. In later years, one friend was a divorced woman with two kids who had an older lesbian partner. However, this is not the ordinary way of things. Another old friend just found me on Classmates and mentioned that he now has a partner with the same first name. So, I'm not a cave-dweller. Any contract can be attacked by an unscrupulous lawyer. Even Anna Nicole's inheritance was challenged by her husband's children. No legal mechanism will exempt anyone from such tactics. Just one example of why Government should protect traditional marriage: because it is the best environment for raising well-balanced children and good citizens. Children raised in any single-sex setting are deprived of relationships with those of the opposite gender. This impairs how they learn to deal with those people as adults in their personal relationships and even in the workplace. (No, I don't have any particular citation for that. It's a composite of studies I've read over the years.) I would apply that to single-parent households, as well. When you don't observe the dynamics of relationships up close, it's difficult to learn them. I'm stepping out of this thread again, because I don't think there's anything to be gained in this discussion.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Celebration was great, I think I was proposed to a few dozen times but who's counting, LOL! I only got three hours sleep though. Head i fine too. I never get hang-overs probably because I hydrate so much if I know I'm going to be out drinking.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Well put, hypnotic. And how was your celebration last night? How's your head feel today? ;)
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
UnDave/CaterPillarGirl: I can understand that some people like your selves’ if I may presume have been brought up with much defined values tied to religious perspective & tradition that your family has chosen to live by. If you and your's are happy with that ideology than I'm happy for you. Where family values becomes a problem for me as a homosexual man is that your family's values encroach into my personal life & freedoms and has the audacity to tell me how to live my life. Last time I checked we have religious freedom here in the U.S. and by trying to impose a faith based value on anyone who does not want it is wrong and probably unconstitutional. With all do respect I'm sure you're nice people but I do not want to be part of your family therefore your family values should stay in your family. As for the critics that I’ve been seeing on the news since the ban was over turned. I find it interesting how many of them said that this is not a legal issue it’s a legislative issue and the courts should not have been involved. My question to them is then what were they doing in court? Why didn’t they save all that money and put their efforts into a legislative constitutional amendment right off the bat? If they truly believe that it’s not a legal issue than why waste the time and effort going down a path that they feel has no relevance? Seems to me like they’re grasping at straws. A national amendment has very little support and I and a state amendment will probably suffer the same fate.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
"it irritates me when judges become to blame when they keep overzealous lawmakers in check." Great point!
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
here is the thing: the california code was changed from "marriage is a contract between two people" to "marriage is between a man and a woman". the courts ruled that this verbiage conflicted with the constitution. in 2000, voters were polled and most said they did not support gay marriage but they also said they did not support a constutional amendment. knight knew this and instead of garnering the support for the amendment, he chose to change the code thus conflicting it with the constitution. it irritates me when judges become to blame when they keep overzealous lawmakers in check.
AKirstin AKirstin 9 years
"Come on people...evolve." DITTO! If a bunch of people want to stick around in the dark ages, let them. But don't force the rest of us to. there is absolutely no way this is a winning battle for those who oppose this. In 50 years, children are going to be going "What was wrong with you people?" just the way we were as kids while learning about race issues/gender issues and civil rights. It's ignorant and MEAN.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I have to agree with UnDave on this one.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
I LOVE wanda!!!!
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
If you want to preserve marriage, ban divorce.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
I think Wanda says it very well.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
Lainey, Gay couples DO have families, and there are thousands of Federal and state benefits that come with being "married". There are so many people who think that gay folks just wander around having many partners, but the truth is they are just as likely to settle down and raise a family as hetero people. I know several gay families . I often wish prejudice people could see them, and what a healthy family environment they have created. "There is nothing in any law preventing individuals from having a contractual relationship: sharing property, right of attorney, etc" There are ways these contracts can be broken. One of my co-workers went through a very complicated process to get all of these contracts, but when his partner became deathly ill, the family he hadn't seen in 10 years came in and had their lawyer over ride them. I don't know how it happened exactly, but the family barred him from the hospital room for the last moments of his partners life and took half of the possessions and art collection that they had been investing in together. "Marriage" is a very strong contract. In Anna Nicole's case, she was not in her husbands will, but the mere fact that she was "married" to him gave her the right to contest and try to break that will. "Marriage" is powerful stuff!
Nyrina-Windu Nyrina-Windu 9 years
This is great news. Everyone deserves to be happy and treated equally.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
This is silly. Of course this is a good thing. I don't understand why it's even an issue. Why does anyone care who someone else marries? If two people love each other and are consenting adults what right do we have to deny them the rights that a straight married couple have? I don't care what the legal ramifications are. This is an undeniable right as far as I'm concerned. Like was pointed out earlier, there was a time when women couldn't vote and multi-racial marriages were illegal in some states. Just because the majority of the people were against these things at the time doesn't mean they were right. Come on people...evolve.
Stravs-Firebird Stravs-Firebird 9 years
Gay couples, like hundreds of thousands of straight couples, participate in fertility treatments and adopt children (who get the benefit of two loving, committed parents). As I said earlier, the majority of citizens in this country were also against interracial marriage. 1967, when Loving v. VA was decided, is way too recent for me to take my own marriage to a white man for granted. And believe me, we get enough looks when we're in certain parts of the country that remind me that there are PLENTY of people who wish our marriage WAS illegal. As a straight woman of color, I will never, ever stop speaking up for loving, committed couples. And I thank the heavens for Chief Justice Earl Warren and the Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia for overturning the will of those voters. For properly interpreting the Constitution. May justice prevail!
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
Ummm...last I heard, gays and lesbians can adopt. What makes them less of a family than a married man and woman? Speaking of, my adopted cat is dry-humping my leg for his nightly treat. It's OK though, he's neutered and I'm straight. ;)
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
serial, thanks for focusing on the legal aspects of the story. IMVHO, that's where the real long-term repercussions will be. There's a great deal of debate over how relevant the Loving case is to the current decision. I don't believe the other case you cite is directly related, as it still deals with blood relatives. There is nothing in any law preventing individuals from having a contractual relationship: sharing property, right of attorney, etc. There is nothing preventing individuals from having private "handfasting" or similar ceremonies. Government's primary interest in marriage is maintaining family, which is the core of society. In the ordinary scheme of things, gay couples do not have children. Therefore, government should have no interest in endorsing the relationship.
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
On a more jovial note, a quote from Ellen Degeneres regarding the court's ruling as viewed on "I'm thrilled that the California supreme court overturned the ban on gay marriage. I can't wait to get married. We all deserve the same rights, and I believe that someday we'll look back on this and not allowing gays to marry will seem as absurd as not allowing women to vote. P.S. I'm registered at Crate and Barrel." :)
serial serial 9 years
Lainetm, this is clearly a controversial topic and my post was not meant as a personal attack against UnDave35 specifically. The right of marriage (i.e., Loving v. Virginia) and family (i.e., Moore v. E. Cleveland) are recognized spheres protected under the scope of the federal Constitution, and by extension to the states. The point remains though, why is it that whenever a court comes to a decision on a controversial issue, such as same-sex marriage, it is lambasted as the work of activist judges -- even when all evidence is to the contrary and when it is decided on the basis of law? The point is, the California Supreme Court is the final word on the meaning of the law. And if a law is unconstitutional, even if it's a law passed by the will of the voter or by the voter's elected representatives, the court has the authority and is right to strike it down. As it has been pointed out above, when a law is passed by the majority to deprive a right to a minority, a right that the majority themselves enjoy, there's a measure of injustice there. Abolition of slavery, universal suffrage, desegregation, interracial marriage, which we all take for granted today, ran contrary to the will of a majority of voters. But I pray that you'll be hard pressed to find someone to disagree with the justness and constitutionality of the above.
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