California Supreme Court Overturns Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

“Under the strict scrutiny standard, unlike the rational basis standard, in order to demonstrate the constitutional validity of a challenged statutory classification the state must establish (1) that the state interest intended to be served by the differential treatment not only is a constitutionally legitimate interest, but is a compelling state interest, and (2) that the differential treatment not only is reasonably related to but is necessary to serve that compelling state interest. Applying this standard to the statutory classification here at issue, we conclude that the purpose underlying differential treatment of opposite-sex and same-sex couples embodied in California’s current marriage statutes — the interest in retaining the traditional and well-established definition of marriage — cannot properly be viewed as a compelling state interest for purposes of the equal protection clause, or as necessary to serve such an interest.

“A number of factors lead us to this conclusion. First, the exclusion of same-sex couples from the designation of marriage clearly is not necessary in order to afford full protection to all of the rights and benefits that currently are enjoyed by married opposite-sex couples; permitting same-sex couples access to the designation of marriage will not deprive opposite-sex couples of any rights and will not alter the legal framework of the institution of marriage, because same-sex couples who choose to marry will be subject to the same obligations and duties that currently are imposed on married opposite-sex couples. Second, retaining the traditional definition of marriage and affording same-sex couples only a separate and differently named family relationship will, as a realistic matter, impose appreciable harm on same-sex couples and their children, because denying such couples access to the familiar and highly favored designation of marriage is likely to cast doubt on whether the official family relationship of same-sex couples enjoys dignity equal to that of opposite-sex couples. Third, because of the widespread disparagement that gay individuals historically have faced, it is all the more probable that excluding same-sex couples from the legal institution of marriage is likely to be viewed as reflecting an official view that their committed relationships are of lesser stature than the comparable relationships of opposite-sex couples. Finally, retaining the designation of marriage exclusively for opposite-sex couples and providing only a separate and distinct designation for same-sex couples may well have the effect of perpetuating a more general premise — now emphatically rejected by this state — that gay individuals and same-sex couples are in some respects “second-class citizens” who may, under the law, be treated differently from, and less favorably than, heterosexual individuals or opposite-sex couples. Under these circumstances, we cannot find that retention of the traditional definition of marriage constitutes a compelling state interest. Accordingly, we conclude that to the extent the current California statutory provisions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples, these statutes are unconstitutional.”


  1. Zeke says

    Now the real work begins to educate and inform Americans.

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don’t start running around like Chicken Little crying “the sky is falling!”

    This is an historic day and we MUST make the most of it. There will be A LOT of work to do in CA to vote down the amendment and we will need to educate voters in every state in the country, ESPECIALLY DEMOCRATS, that this is NOT the doom that they eronious saddled us with in 2004.

    God Bless the CA Supreme Court and God Bless California!

  2. jeff says

    Reading the opinion, I cried.

    It truly is civil rights all over again. The dissents sound just like the bastards demanding “separate but equal” in the 50s and 60s.

  3. Rafael says

    Exciting times in deed. there is still a battle ahead, but now we can look straight into the horizon. Congratulations to all Californians, my we all cherish your triumph!

  4. John says

    Initial analysis from KCBS’ legal analyst:

    The decision immediately legalizes same-sex marriage throughout California. Unlike in Massachusetts, the ruling took effect the moment it was read.

    The San Francisco and Los Angeles County Clerk’s Office has announced that marriage commissioners and judges will begin marrying same-sex couples tomorrow.

    The UC Berkeley talking head also seems to imply that the 4,000 marriages nullfied in 2004 might be legal. Although he’s not quite sure.

  5. peterparker says

    Thank you Justice George, Justice Kennard, Justice Werdegar and Justice Moreno!!! You have taken an important step toward helping millions of Californians achieve equality under the law!

    (And shame on you Justices Baxter, Chin and Corrigan! May your tenures be brief and unremarkable!)

  6. David says

    Now if I only had a boyfriend…just kidding.

    This is a rare burst of great news for our community and for the country as a whole!

    Everybody across the country should celebrate.

  7. Zeke says

    Damn Andy, for my birthday I got dinner out and tickets to the Lion King.

    You get a Marriage Equality ruling for the whole state of California!

    Somebody up there loves you!

    Can you spend your next Birthday in Florida?

  8. Rachel says

    I read the decision and burst into tears. I’ve lived here for 15 years, been religiously married to my partner for 10 and felt, with those tears, what it meant to be considered 2nd class in this state. I am so grateful to all who worked so hard to bring us to this day.

    November will be hard. But today is a day for celebrating.

  9. Tom says

    The CA governor has just said he will uphold the Supreme Court ruling depsite the petition to amend the state constitution. My God! It took a Republican appointed state Supreme Court and a Republican governor to pass (and uphold) gay civil rights. Will this keep the issue local come November and innoculate Obama and Clinton from Karl Rove-like attacks?

  10. Michael Bedwell says

    Thanks, Alex, for the link. I’ll be at the celebration in San Francisco tonight throwing in a God Bless Gavin Newsom!

    NOW, despite this Ode to Joy from the California Supremes, the OTHER fat lady has not yet sung and YOUR dimes and dollars are needed to write the lyrics! Of course, I’m talking about the fact that a ban could STILL be burned into the California state constitution through the referendum being voted on in November.

    PLEASE contribute whatever you can through the Equality California link below. They are the lead organization, in alliance with virtually every other national gay group, organizing the voter education campaign to defeat this hate-filled ballot measure. As I wrote yesterday, research shows voters are virtually split on either side so we have a MAJOR chance to win. But the Mormons, the Catholics, Focus on the Family, Traditional Values Coaltion, and the Antigay Industry generally will be throwing even more millions against us than they already have. THANK YOU!

  11. Feral says

    And Arnold weighs in thusly:

    “I respect the court’s decision and as governor, I will uphold its ruling,” said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in a statement. “Also, as I have said in the past, I will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this (ruling).”

  12. Chris in MN says

    As a former long-term CA resident, this ruling brings tears to my eyes. A truly remarkable development. As we know from historic trends, as goes California, so goes the rest of the nation…at least eventually. However, I have a funny feeling. in my stomach as I worry about the inevitible backlash…especially in a presidential election year. Get ready for Barak and Hillary to re-voice their opposition to same-sex marriage. They have no choice if they want to win.

  13. says

    We’re on a roll re: birthday gifts, Andy! Better than flowers and a swanky dinner, tho I’ll take those, too.

    More importantly, reading excerpts from the decision above, the clarity, wisdom, and rightness of it just shines thru. Applause for those judges on our side. History will be, too, whatever obstacles we face along the way.

  14. SGL says

    I’m a 25 year-old gay married Canadian man who has watched in horror as America’s rogue president and his “supporters” have tried, with all their might, to erode the rights of the LGBT community.

    I have watched in despair as the fundemental Right has revved its propaganda machine into high gear in an attempt to turn the American people against their LGBT brothers and sisters.

    It is truely heartening and uplifting to hear about this development in California.

    The Just stand for justice! Imagine!

    Congratulations from Canada.

  15. Gregus says

    Adding a yeeehaa! This really is an important day. Where Massachusetts and California lead, the other States will slowly start to follow.

    I bet there are some very happy and very tearful people in CA right now!

  16. Sam says

    This is truly a beautiful moment. I can’t understand how anyone, anywhere, could refute the decision.

    As much as I love Arizona, California is proving much more alluring at the moment…

  17. JerzeeMike says

    I can barely see to type this, I’m crying so much. Congratulations to California, God bless you!! I never, ever thought I would see something like this in my lifetime-two states in the U.S. that legally recognize our civil rights.

    Hopefully NJ will follow suit since it is the opinion of many in it’s legislature that Civil Unions are NOT equal to marriage.

    This is a GREAT day!!!!!!!

  18. says

    In Ireland I’ll soon be able to enter a full legal union with my American partner (we’ve been together for ten years). He’ll enjoy complete protection under Irish law including the right of citizenship.

    It’s sad that he’ll still have to wait decades (probably) before being able to return the compliment here in the US.

    I’m utterly thrilled by California’s ruling, but spare a thought for the thousands of Americans who’s foreign born same sex partner will be unaffected by this ruling. It could happen to you, too.

  19. says

    Take a moment to read/skim the full opinion. Even in his dissenting opinion Justice Corrigan states his own personal support for equal gay rights and then states that as long as domestic partnerships are fully equal, the court shouldn’t rule about the name “marriage”. While we may disagree with him, in doing so he hints at affirming that equal rights are required. So overall, IMHO it is a very strong opinion. 5-2 for equal rights, 4-3 for marriage.

  20. Jimmyboyo says

    This will go all the way to the Supreme Court

    Do you want a mccain supreme court (at least 2 replacments in the next 4 yrs) deciding on it or a Supreme court with apointments by a dem president?

    Obama/ Clinton 08

  21. anon says

    Definitely a great birthday gift for Andy. Hopefully this will put pressure on civil union states to upgrade to Marriage 1.0. However, we have the FMA hanging over our heads and the possibility this could help right-wingers in the fall. Obama is probably not too happy about this ruling. It also would have been better 5-2 or 6-1 or something other than 4-3, or even better, passed as a law in the legislature. That, and the issue is now really dividing the country into two.

  22. anon says

    JB: This cannot be appealed to the US Supreme Court as it’s strictly a matter of state law. In order to go into the federal courts, the ruling would have to violate the civil rights of the citizen’s of all states, probably through equal protection motions (how I can’t envision) or the violation of another state’s sovereignty (why I can’t say) or through some sort of claim the ruling violates separation of powers (untested legal premise). So don’t get too worked up about that.

    I forgot to mention that now they need to redo the wedding scene from Brother’s and Sisters!

  23. Michael Bedwell says

    Nostalgia buffs might appreciate the link below to a live AMATEUR recording of Bette Midler singing “Chapel of Love” [backed up by Joni Mitchell, with Barry Manilow on the piano] at New York’s legendary Continental Baths the night of September 6, 1971 B.A., that’s Before AIDS and before one could probably count on two hands the number of us who even imagined that gays could be legally married someday. [Thanks to the unknown creator of the incredible Bette On the Boards site!]

    And for those auslanders who don’t want to be left with only the few seconds’ attention it might get on national evening TV news and would like to watch local TV coverage online, here are links to Bay Area stations. Look for additional coverage of local celebration at the SF LGBT Community Center after 5 pm tonight Pacific time.

  24. John says


    Since the ruling relied exclusively on state law, the federal Supreme Court has no jurisdiction over this case. As far as the courts are concerned, this decision is final. Referendums are the only real threat at this point.

  25. Zeke says

    As TOM rightly noted above, if we are fully informed about what has happened here we can completely take the wind out of the sails of the anti-gay Republicans who will try to spin this as something being shoved down the throats of California voters by liberal judges who a part of the homa-sek-shul agenda.

    With the REPUBLICAN Governor’s press release today it is a TRIFECTA of ALL branches of the California government agreeing to marriage equality.

    What greater example could there be of “letting the states decide” and “states’ rights” talking points that we keep hearing over and over from Republicans AND Democrats. It also shoots the “librul activist judges” meme right in the foot; especially considering the fact that all but one judge was appointed by Republican Governors.

    I do think that it would have been even better if they had declared it unconstitutional and given the legislature and the governor 30 days to rectify the biased marriage statutes and have them enacted. Then it would have come out of the legislature with the Governor’s signature further taking the wind out of the sails of the “activist judges” propagandists. This tactic has worked very well in other places.

  26. BosieO says

    FUCK! I began reading and and suddenly i broke into tears…NOT sure what just happened…This is just HISTORIC! Glad my state can live to its standards…let’s keep pushing forward…and not devide each other, these are the results of our fights!! One win, a win for all!!

  27. Paul R says

    Andy, why did you post the most unattractive picture of Gavin Newsom I’ve ever seen? He’s our friend, not a weird forehead monster man!!

  28. Sam says

    Congratulations to David Ehrenstein and his Partner.

    I recognize your name from AfterElton, too. It’s excellent to see something like that in action already.

    And, Happy Birthday, Andy! Woot! I’m beginning to like your birthday as much as my own!

  29. SoCalSurfer says

    I live in LA and am thrilled to hear this news, but I can’t help be super suspicious and cynical about it. Didn’t the dems lose the last election because of the whole gay marriage thing? Is anyone else finding it too coincidental that the Republicans are bringing this out again at this time, right before an election?

    I find it interesting that hardly ANY media has noted that this was passed by a REPUBLICAN dominated Supreme Court.

  30. Zeke says

    Congratulations DAVID!

    I just read the entire ruling. As much as the overall ruling and the concurring opinions make my heart sing, the dissenting opions make my blood boil. They are so full of misinformation and they just repeat OVER AND OVER AGAIN that gays should be happy and satisfied with “separate but equal legal recognition”. They repeat ad nauseam that Domestic Partnerships give VIRTUALLY all the same SUBSTANTIVE rights, benefits and obligations as real marriage.

    What they don’t seem to notice, yet it jumps right out at me, is when they say “there is no difference between those who have Registered Domestic Partnerships and those who are married.” The next time one of these dissenters introduces their spouse to a stranger I want them to introduce them to them as their “Registered Domestic Partner” and then come back and tell me there’s no “substantive” difference. NO ONE is going to treat registered domestic partners with the same level of respect as they are a married couple. THAT is a substantive difference.

  31. el polacko says

    i’m just so damned proud to be a calleeeforrrnnian today ! thanks to the republican-appointed court, our republican governor, the wonderful democrat mayor, gavin newsom, and all of the many many people who have worked so hard for so long. sure, it’s not over yet with an initiative looming to snatch our rights away again, but we’ve made a huge step in the direction of equality for all citizens today.
    yippeee !!!!!!!!

  32. says

    This, to me, is even more historic than Massachusetts’s Goodridge decision… and I say that as a lifelong resident of Massachusetts. Suddenly, over 10% of the entire US population will have access to marriage equality, in one fell swoop. Hooray!!!

  33. Zeke says

    Yep, ole Jerry Falwell’s been dead a year now today, Maybe this is a first year anniversary present from him now that he realizes how wrong he was and what an life-long evil bastard he was to the gay community!

    Either that or he’s rolling over in his grave!

    Either way, it’s all good.

  34. Zeke says

    FASTLAD, with all due respect, what you will have in Ireland will be just about what California and many other states already have; a separate but “equal” status. Ireland has said that it will NOT change the statutes or the Constitution to allow for same-sex marriage, just Civil Partnerships, which is another way of saying “legal roomates”.

    I certainly appreciate the HUGE step that The United Kingdom has taken and that the Republic of Ireland is in the process of taking but it is not marriage. Even there you have a ways to go before true equality is achieved.

    Unfortunately, we in the “Land of the Free” have much, much further to go than you.

  35. John says

    Although everyone has rightfully applauded the Supreme Court and Governor Schwarzenegger, I think a very big thanks need to go out to the lawmakers who passed the Domestic Partnership Act (and attempted to leglize same-sex marriage outright no less than two times)…as well the numerous big-city mayors who backed this cause.


    And of course, a belated thank you to the LGBT Legislative Caucus that drafted these laws (SEN. CHRISTINE KEHOE, SEN. SHELIA KHUEL, SEN. CAROLE MIDGEN, ASM. JACKIE GOLDBERG, ASM. MARK LENO, ASM. JOHN LAIRD)

  36. Bill Perdue, RainbowRED says

    Wonderful news. And its gets better because it’s a precedent made even more powerful by the standing enjoyed by the California Supreme Court in legal circles. The courts and legislators are erratic and undependable at best but they’re also very political and when they’re faced with a mass movement that won’t take no for an answer they occasionally rule to placate the movement.

    The justices of the California Supreme Court are almost entirely Republican appointees. So much for the argument that we have to vote Democratic (sic) to win in court. We just have to convince courts and lawmakers that we mean business. The big winners here are tens of thousands of California GLBT activists and their allies who fought long and hard for same sex marriage. We owe them all a debt of gratitude and a big hug.

  37. Michael Bedwell says

    Good for you, John! Too often many of the names of the ones who actually fought the battles and took the chances. Paging Barney Frank—your public apology to Gavin Newsom is now due!

    And I’d the plaintiff couples and their attorneys, including the very straight SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera, as well as the active members of gay political clubs and out members of their Parties county committees.

    Again: please send a donation to to defeat the November referendum which could turn today upside down.

  38. Shumway says

    There is great coverage of the marriage case including more media and analysis on Equality California’s blog, Definately worth checking throughout the day

  39. Will says

    What I really enjoy about reading the opinion is the smack down they give to the Oregon Supreme Court and the New York State Court of Appeals by (i) slaping down any logic that marriage requires the ability to procreate (main reason in the Oregon case denying gay marriage) and (ii) refers several times to Judge Kaye’s dissent in the NY case that found that the state constitution didn’t require gay marriage (i.e., to J. Kaye’s opinion that gay marriages are required under the state constitution).

    Next up, court rulings in Connecticut and New Jersey at their Supreme Courts, and in 2009, gay marriage enacted by the NY state legislature and signed into law by Gov. Paterson.

    I also predict DOMA falling before the 2012 presidential elections. I am unaware of any U.S. Sup. Ct. justice who views this as constitutional (though it will be interesting to see how they actually vote). No matter how much we disagree with Scalia, Roberts, etc. on how they interpret the constitution, they have no choice, even based on their interpretation, that DOMA passes muster. DOMA affects rights embodied in the constitution as ratified in 1789 and clearly goes against original intent of the framers.

  40. JT says

    Very cool. It doesn’t change much, though for anyone. Until other states and the federal government recognize a relationship-regardless of what it’s called-it doesn’t change things. MA and CA married couples won’t be able to file married tax forms. There is no federal recognition of the relationship and no impetus to force states to give full faith and credit to marriages. Senator Obama is opposed to equal marriage rights, so if he gets elected, things won’t change.

    The word “marriage” has too much baggage, I mean, for crying out loud, the polygamists in Texas say they’re “married.” I would prefer to have universal civil unions and let people pin the appellation “married” on themselves in a church.

    It’s still cool, though. Congratulations Californians.

  41. Jeff says

    Its been a cold, gray, rainy day here in Saint Louis, MO, and for all the dreariness I’ve been feeling lately, reading this news and the above comments couldn’t help but ignite a small spark inside me.

    Some eight-plus years ago, my partner presented me with a ring and asked me to marry him. Happily I agreed. Later I returned the question so I could present him with a ring too. And likewise, he agreed.

    We have been “married” in our hearts for almost nine years now. One day we may have the legal recognition that a union like ours and countless others deserves.

    Californians, please stand strong and do all you can to prevent a referendum from eroding today’s decision.

    Those of us in less evolved states are continually looking to you for a ray of sunshine on cold, dreary days.

  42. Michael Bedwell says

    And for residents of Florida, particularly Miami/Dade, here’s YOUR chance to take part in moving equality forward there as this coming Tuesday the Miami/Dade Commissioners vote on Domestic Partnerships [the kind of step that helped lead to CA’s historic ruling today]. Here’s the 411 from Chip Arndt, President of Freedom Democrats:

    “Freedom Democrats friends and members,

    The California Supreme Court today announced that it will protect and extend rights to all of its citizens. It is now Miami Dade’s turn to protect all of its citizens….and we are almost there with an historic opportunity.

    Your fellow Miami Dade citizens have worked hard to bring the Domestic Partner Ordinance to a final vote. It has taken over 10 years and we are FINALLY HERE. Yes, it is true, this Tuesday we have a chance, together, to extend DP benefits to all people in Miami Dade who are in a domestic partner relationship.

    On May 20—this Tuesday at 9 am—the course of history will change in Miami Dade as the Miami Dade Commissioners vote for, or against, the DP Orindance. Your voice and presence is needed at the meeting in the Commission Chambers on the 2nd floor of the Stephen P. Clark building at 111 NW 1st Street, Miami.

    This is the FINAL vote. We need you to show up to support the Ordinance and those commissioners who are voting for the Ordinance. Those against the Ordinance have pledged to turn out in large numbers and it is up to ALL OF US to show up in support of the DP Ordinance.

    … Please come, we need your support. And bring your friends!

    If you do anything in 2008 to protect your rights and those in a domestic partner relationship please do this one thing — SHOW UP on May 20 at 9 am. Take the morning off and be a part of history.

    We need you, those who have worked so hard to potect you need you, and those who want to visit their loved one in a hospital need you.

    It is our time in Florida and, when this Ordinance passes, it will reverberate across the country as a sign that Miami Dade cares about all of its citizens. This is OUR, this is YOUR time, and it is one of those times that your presence is greatly needed.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Chip Arndt, President – Freedom Democrats of Miami Dade”

  43. rae says

    david ehrenstein, congratulations! i didn’t start crying until i read your commnent. wow, 38 years, do it up big honey! you deserve an event.

  44. Michael Bedwell says

    Couldn’t resist noting that MSNBC’s coverage, which egregiously began with a professional homohater, included a report by “Justice Correspondent” Pete Williams who was outed in 1991 when he worked in the Defense Department under [as it were] Prick Cheney during the Bush pere Admin because of the hypocrisy of a gay man, known to be gay by his superiors, was defending the military’s ban on gays. As far as I know he has YET to publicly acknowledge his sexuality as he refused to do when asked at the time. Maybe WILLIAMS should move to CA to get some “Justice for all.”

    Which, certainment, brings us to wonder if Mr. Cooper will once again wrap himself in an Assume-I’m-Straight body condom tonight when she er he reports on this Gay Day in History.

  45. Michael Bedwell says

    Here’s a wonderful video clip of a celebration in the SF City Hall Rotunda around its grand marble stair case—at the top of which the memorial bust to Harvey Milk will be dedicated a week from today. First straight City Attorney Dennis Herrera, then the best—Mayor Newsom—at about the 6:00 point summarizing what today means.

  46. rudy says

    Felicidades mis amores! A truly wonderful day and a beautifully reasoned and written opinion. I was literally skipping down the street with joy after reading the opinion.

    My partner and I are already planning on getting married in California to celebrate our thirtieth anniversary this year. We will be joining several friends in a communal ceremony.

    Celebrate tonight and get to work tomorrow to ensure that this decision is not overturned by uneducated voters and that it spreads to other states.

  47. says

    Hopefully this will put pressure on civil union states to upgrade to Marriage 1.0. However, we have the FMA hanging over our heads and the possibility this could help right-wingers in the fall. Obama is probably not too happy about this ruling. It also would have been better 5-2 or 6-1 or something other than 4-3, or even better, passed as a law in the legislature. That, and the issue is now really dividing the country into two.

  48. FunMe says

    I have been so ECSTATIC all day. This is great news. Today will be remembered as a very historic day.

    The fact that 6 of the 7 judges were appointed by republicon governors speaks volumes.

    I don’t think a referendum to AMEND THE CONSTITUTION will pass. That is a big step for Californians to pass. They may have passed Prop 22, but to chane the state constitution is a big leap for the CONservative FREAKS to accomplish

    This rulling will energize not only the activists but all the youth in the gay community. People are going to wake up and say ENOUGH … it should always be EQUALITY FOR ALL.

    The tide is turning in the right direction.


  49. John says

    The folks at Wikipedia are certainly quick. California is now a glorious shade of dark purple (joining the previously lonely Massachusetts amid the sea of red states).

    I must say, it’s all quite exciting.

  50. says

    This is fantastic news! And today is my birthday, too! My partner of almost 26 years died last year after a long illness — we always considered ourselves to be married, even if we were not legally so. I think this is partly his birthday gift to me!

    Congratulations, California!!!

  51. matt says

    Would that Florida’s Supreme Court or our closeted Governor Crist had the balls to make this call. Unfortunately, the “people” have added the Hate Amendment to November’s ballot and unless Obama wins in a landslide down here, inspiring millions of the narrow-minded to just say no to said amendment, we are gonna be in deep shit next year. This thing is so conservative even straight couples will get screwed out of the same rights we’ll lose.

  52. Ted says

    I got the news almost immediately via email from the HRC. On my way home from work I picked up a bottle of Sonoma County chardonnay, put Natalie Cole’s “Route 66″ on the stereo, and started reading all the press reports. I am proud to be an American today! The tide has turned and we can’t let it go back.

    3 glasses in, I watched CNN’s coverage. I think they devoted about 10 minutes to the issues, and if I’m not mistaken I saw Anderson smirking. Thanks Dan Savage for continuing to stand up to the bigots like Tony Perkins, for all of us.

    Congrats to David E and lets hope Andy lives a long life so we can look forward to reaching major milestones every May 15.

  53. Zeke says

    Happy Birthday ALBERT!

    MATT, volunteer with Fairness for All Families or Florida Red and Blue. They are both very worth campaigns. Don’t count on Obama’s candidacy to help us out in Florida at all. I’m a huge Obama supporter but I’m affraid that if we don’t do some big time educating, the socially conservative African-American Democrat vote, which will be at an all time high this year, will be a demographic that the anti-gay folks will be targeting.

    The Supreme Court ruling from Michigan was really going to help our case here in Florida but the California ruling is going to hurt us.

    God, I look forward to the day that we can just live carefree and happy without having to fight every single freakin day to get basic justice, fairness and equal rights.

    We have a lot of work to do in Florida and in California.

    PLEASE consider making a contribution to or volunteering with Equality Florida and/or Fairness for All Families and/or Florida Red and Blue to defeat the amendment in Florida. This amendment will make ALL non-marriage unions illegal and invalid including civil unions, domestic partnerships and any recognition that in any way resembles marriage. It is much more discriminatory than the CA amendment.

    and/or contribute to or volunteer with

    Equality California to defeat the amendment in California.

    We’re going to need ALL the help we can get in both states. We’ll need money and time from people all over the country. The anti-gay groups are being funded by Focus on the Family and Republican and religious groups across the country. We HAVE to match or exceed their influence.

  54. Ted says

    OK, tonight I’ve decided to finish the bottle of wine and dream about the man I love who happens to live in California [while I’m in NY]. Tomorrow I will contribute and try to make a difference. It’s incumbent upon all of us to not let this monumental progress slip away.

  55. Zeke says

    You guys have GOT to go over to and read the comments of their writers and the comments that follow. It is just astonishing to me how anti-gay these gay people are. They, in the same breath, say that they are conservatives and Republicans because of their support for “family values”, “tax fairness”, “personal responsibility”, “states rights” etc. and then they go on tirades against this decision, against gay marriage and go on and one about how gay tax paying couples aren’t entitled to and aren’t deserving of marriage rights or even civil union rights.

    They’re actually mocking gay marriage by saying that now they can marry their ice cream and spewing all the “man on goat”, “polygamy” and “destroying the sacred institution” right-wing talking points.

    I swear, it’s like these people are part of an anti-gay, right wing, fundamentalist cult that makes the average Republican look like a tree hugging, homo loving hippie.

  56. anon ( says

    I’m shocked how tenuous this ruling is. They are not in any rush and may issue a stay until after the election, based the ruling on statutory weakness (knocking both the ban and the DP law down) and giving the state legislature the option to rename “marriage” something else (as long as it affects everyone). The last one is potentially pernicious because straights can marry in other states.

  57. John says

    “We need not decide in this case whether the name “marriage” is invariably a core element of the state constitutional right to marry” (Page 8, Majority Opinion)

    The court is clearly side-stepping the “equal naming” issue completely. Any legislative attempt to abolish all marriages (Libertarian style) might or might not pass constitutional muster. All they’re saying here is they don’t care about that at the moment. But they’re certainly not advising the legislature to move in that direction.

    And they haven’t nullified domestic partnerships either. That wasn’t anywhere in the majority opinion. Justice Corrigan merely suggested that the majority’s line of reasoning – illogical by her standard – amounts to a repudiation of the DPA in her dissent:

    “Instead of presuming the validity of the statutes defining marriage and establishing domestic partnership, in effect the majority presumes them to be constitutionally invalid by characterizing domestic partnership as a “mark of second-class citizenship”…We should allow the significant achievements embodied in the domestic partnership statutes to continue to take root. ” (Page 7-8)

    That’s an assumption on Corrigan’s part though. In the majority opinion, Chief Justice George only ruled (Page 117-118) that sections 300 and 308.5 of the Fmaily Code are unconstitutional. That is, the provisions related to Proposition 22 and the Marriage Act of 1977.

    Remember, the DPA also applies to opposite-sex seniors. And the court hasn’t even touched that issue at all. Moreover, the situation is currently evolving, and many couples will not want to risk unstable marriages that might be taken away in a few months (in lieu of stable domestic partnerships).

    If same-sex marriage survives the next couple years, perhaps the legislature will phase domestic partnerships out in the future. But for the moment, nobody’s talking about getting rid of the DPA just yet. Imperfect as it is, we definitely still need it as insurance. And I think the court majority recognizes that there are pragmatic considerations here.

  58. Madd says

    I dont think we deserve it. Why? Too many bars & Nightclubs are still double carding minorities. Non-Minorities do not protest this behavior. I guess dancing is more important. Gay magazines & newspapers ignore the issue. Most gay magazines look like the Republican convention. You have to play the find the minority game.
    The quest for equality begains at home. Until we are welcoming to those who are unlike ourselves. THEY WIN!

  59. Vi Agara says

    The thing that bothers me though is in CA a referendum put to public vote can overturn the whole thing and ban SSM by way of a constitutional amendment.

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