Same-sex marriage in California!

The California Supreme Court has posted their opinion (PDF file) in the same-sex marriage case, a couple weeks earlier than expected. (Note that their server is currently swamped.)

I've just barely started reading it. But here's the first thing I looked for, in the final paragraph of the 120-page majority opinion:

[...] we determine that the language of section 300 limiting the designation of marriage to a union “between a man and a woman” is unconstitutional and must be stricken from the statute, and that the remaining statutory language must be understood as making the designation of marriage available both to opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

I am really really happy about this.

Please note (from pp. 4-5 of the majority opinion) this is ruling is strictly about the state constitution:

[...] our task in this proceeding is not to decide whether we believe, as a matter of policy, that the officially recognized relationship of a same-sex couple should be designated a marriage rather than a domestic partnership (or some other term), but instead only to determine whether the difference in the official names of the relationships violates the California Constitution. We are aware, of course, that very strongly held differences of opinion exist on the matter of policy[....] Whatever our views as individuals with regard to this question as a matter of policy, we recognize as judges and as a court our responsibility to limit our consideration of the question to a determination of the constitutional validity of the current legislative provisions.

Anyway. I don't know what the next steps are. One news article said there'd be US Supreme Court appeals. Others have pointed out that there's a drive to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot for this fall; I don't think such an amendment will pass, but it may be a nearer thing than I would like.

But for the moment, I'm really happy.

Off to read the rest of the opinion, and some analysis as soon as it's posted.

P.S. added later: I'm glad to see that Gov. Schwarzenegger continues to say (as he's said before) that he "will not support an amendment to the constitution" banning same-sex marriage.

3 Responses to “Same-sex marriage in California!”

  1. Cheryl Myfanwy Morgan

    Excellent news, thanks for sharing it!

  2. Reinie

    Hooray for California!

  3. Kendra

    Most impressive to me in that paragraph you quoted is their nonchalant assumption that same-sex relationships are some kind of legally-recognized category, and that it’s just a question of terminology: domestic partnership or marriage. Go California!


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