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
Accordingly, in light of the conclusions we reach concerning the constitutional questions brought to us for resolution, 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. In addition, because the limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples imposed by section 308.5 can have no constitutionally permissible effect in light of the constitutional conclusions set forth in this opinion, that provision cannot stand.
Kudos to the California Supreme Court. Makes me glad to be living in a state with sane judges (and mostly sane politicians).
Can’t wait to hear the “Oh noes they’re destroying our families, or so we claim with absolutely no evidence to back up the crap we spew” responses that are sure to follow.
Allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry “will not deprive opposite-sex couples of any rights and will not alter the legal framework of the institution of marriage,” (Chief Justice Ronald George) said.
In addition, he said, the current state law discriminates against same-sex couples on the basis of their sexual orientation – discrimination that the court, for the first time, put in the same legal category as racial or gender bias.
He also noted that state laws and traditions banned interracial marriage until the California Supreme Court, in 1948, became the first court in the nation to overturn such a law. “Even the most familiar and generally accepted of social policies and traditions often mask an unfairness and inequality that frequently is not recognized or appreciated by those not directly harmed,” the chief justice wrote. “
Here’s hoping that either the case isn’t appealed or, failling that, that the US Supreme court refuses it. That court is filled with too many Bushlings right now, and the wrong ruling would set the US back decades as far as equality goes.
Edit: Never mind: The parties cannot appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, Herrera said, as no federal constitutional questions are at issue.
Edit 2: I’ve now had time to read over the “dissenting” opinions (which are actually “concurring and dissenting” opinions) and I can see many of their points. It seems that the dissenters basically reason that, “Since California already has domestic partnership laws that confer the same rights as marriage, at least at the state level, and voters have passed a law that reserves the term ‘marriage’ for a man and a woman, it is not the court’s place to redefine that term, in particular because there are already ‘separate but equal’ institutions in place.”
I actually mostly agree with that statement. However, I still think this is the right ruling, in no small part because people would have twisted a negative ruling to their own benefit, ignoring the very logic that would have led to that decision in the first place (such as using the ruling to argue against any rights for same-sex couples when that was clearly not the court’s intention). In particular, a negative ruling would have set a dangerous precedent for other states that currently do not give any rights to same-sex couples.
I wish the stupid fundies who’ll raise hell about this would give logical, thought-out arguments similar to these dissenting opinions instead of spewing garbage.