California's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Rejected by State Supreme Court
The California Supreme Court today ruled that the state's failure to designate the official relationship of same-sex couples as marriage violates the California Constitution, effectively rejecting the state's ban on same-sex marriage.
In today's 4-3 decision -- a consolidation of six different appeals -- the court concluded that the "domestic partnership" designation is not sufficient, and that "to the extent the current California statutory provisions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples, these statutes are unconstitutional." The decision comes more than four years after the city of San Francisco issued about 4,000 marriage licenses to same-sex couples, a move the state's high court halted before declaring that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom could not sidestep state marriage laws. The validity of California's marriage laws -- specifically, the constitutionality of limiting the definition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman -- was the subject of a number of lower court decisions before today's ruling by the California Supreme Court.
- Read Today's Decision: In Re Marriage Cases [PDF file]
- Case Background Information from the California Courts
- S.F. Chronicle: State Supreme Court Says Same-Sex Couples Have Right to Marry
- N.Y. Times: California Court Affirms Right to Gay Marriage
- San Jose Mercury News: Summary of CA Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Decision
- Same-Sex Couples and the Law (FindLaw)
- Family Law Center: Marriage (FindLaw)
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