Monday, February 11, 2008

California Supreme Court to Decide on Gay 'Marriage' by June

The California Supreme Court announced that it will hear three hours of arguments on March 4 in the cases challenging the decision not to allow homosexual "marriage." A ruling will be made within 90 days.

The case is a combination of lawsuits filed by fifteen same-sex couples and the city of San Francisco, challenging the marriage restriction, and two countersuits by private organizations, defending the law.

The law was first tested in February 2004 when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered the city clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Nearly 4,000 same-sex marriages were performed in the next month. The state Supreme Court invalidated the weddings in August 2004 and ruled that Newsom had no authority to disregard the marriage law.

In April 2005 the San Francisco Superior Court ruled that the California Constitution guaranteed the right to marry the partner of one's choice, and that exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage was therefore discriminatory.

The California Court of Appeal reversed the San Francisco Superior Court ruling in October 2006, saying the law's exclusion of gays and lesbians from marriage could be justified by tradition and by the fact that domestic partners in California have nearly all the rights of married couples.

In December 2006, the California Supreme Court granted review of the cases in order to consider the constitutional questions.

The California law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman was passed by the Legislature in 1977 and reaffirmed by the voters in a 2000 referendum.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who twice vetoed measures passed by the California legislature that would have permitted same-sex couples to marry, said that the California Supreme Court should decide the constitutionality of the marriage statutes.

Among those supporting marriage rights for homosexuals are the governments of 20 California cities and counties, the NAACP and other civil rights groups, associations of psychologists and anthropologists, companies such as Levi Strauss, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, and the Unitarians and other liberal denominations.

The Knights of Columbus, organizations advocating alternatives to homosexuality, the Mormon Church, the California Catholic Conference, and groups such as Campaign for California Families are among those opposing.

Attorney Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel, who will argue to uphold the state law on behalf of the Campaign for California Families, said allowing marriage for same-sex couples "will destroy the unique institution that provides a stable cultural environment for children and their families," in a report in the San Francisco Chronicle.

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1 comment:

Charlotte Robinson said...

This is going to be interesting. For the truth about gay marriage check out our trailer. Produced to educate & defuse the controversy it has a way of opening closed minds & provides some sanity on the issue:)