civil rights, gay rights, gender, marriage, news, Sexual Politics

California’s Supreme Court rules state’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

WASHINGTON (CNN) — In a much-anticipated ruling issued Thursday, the California Supreme Court struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. (Ya think?)

Several gay and lesbian couples, along with the city of San Francisco and gay rights groups, sued to overturn state laws allowing only marriages between a man and a woman.

“There can be no doubt that extending the designation of marriage to same-sex couples, rather than denying it to all couples, is the equal protection remedy that is most consistent with our state’s general legislative policy and preference,” said the 120-page ruling.

This is fantastic news. We (as a proud Californian, I get to say We) are the second state in the United States to allow same-sex marriage. It’s about damn time! I first heard about it on the radio. Then I got a few exuberant calls. Then I made a few ebullient calls. Posted it to Twitter. Sent a few e-mails and a link to the CNN article. Seems like everyone’s a-twitter about it:

iRobyn: Court overturns same-sex marriage ban
Life, Law, Gender: California allows same-sex marriage!
Pam’s House Blend: California Supreme Court Ruling: Thumbs UP On Marriage Equality
Radical Atheist » California Supreme Court overturns gay marriage ban

The Republic of T: Speechless

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3 thoughts on “California’s Supreme Court rules state’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

  1. maybebi says:

    Thing is… “Californians” didn’t allow it. A court allowed it by “creating” a brand new right to serve a political agenda. “Californians” didn’t WANT it – that was the referendum that got overturned, right?

    So really what you’re celebrating is that a handful of people overturned the will of a very clear majority of the people – celebrating it because THIS TIME it’s an outcome you like. Seven people (appointed, not elected) have bypassed the will of millions.

    Regardless of whether the outcome is seen as positive or not, the mechanism can only be seen as a dangerous overthrow of democracy.

  2. Actually, what we’re REALLY celebrating is an overturn of a ban that denies basic rights to a group of people. The Supreme Court is there to make sure that democracy doesn’t annul our rights. This same type of ruling will be there to protect the Religious Right from bans that could possibly come in the future, should people get fed up with so-called moral legislation. So I wouldn’t knock it.

    No one is forcing same-sex marriages on those who don’t want them. If you don’t want to marry someone of the same sex, don’t do it.

    Either we’re all equal in the eyes of the law, or we’re not. It’s as simple as that.

  3. maybebi says:

    Perhaps California’s judiciary/constitution is set up differently. I’m really only familiar with the US one, in which the court’s power is to interpret/clarify the law that the legislature passes, theoretically on behalf of the people, and to overturn such law as violates the Constitution (that being a more basic law than whatever mess Congress passes this year). *Not* to “defend democracy” per se; not to invent or establish “basic rights”. There’s already a system for the people to decide to recognize some “new” basic right by extending the Constitution.

    It seems (as an outsider, so to speak, and a relatively young one at that) that there’s been a great deal of change in attitude towards gays and lesbians over the past few decades. If people (even in California) are still unsure about whether there should be a right to marry someone of the same sex – well, laws can be revisited as people change their minds. Saying “no” now does not mean “no” in 20 years, or even 5.

    Would it be unfair to be “made” to wait until 20 million people change their minds? It’d be unfortunate, sure, but that’s kind of the way that democracy works. It’s *not* supposed to work by a handful of people deciding (rightly or wrongly!) that they know “what’s best”, particularly when 20 million people were unconvinced by the same “equal protection” argument.

    Nobody was forcing opposite-sex marriages on those who don’t want them, either. If you don’t want to marry someone of the opposite sex, don’t do it. Everyone had the right to do so; that’s “equal protection” right there. (Unlike, for instance, a law saying that “only white people could get married”, which – these days! – would be seen as horribly wrong. That wasn’t always the case either… but that attitude changed as well.)

    > Either we’re all equal in the eyes of the law, or we’re not.

    Yes, it really is as simple as that – and in this case, the court decided that the preferences of the few (“I want to marry someone of the same sex”) should be held greater than the preferences of the many (“I think that marriage should only be between a man and a woman”). Clearly the court chose one set of preferences as more important.

    (Changing soapboxes briefly, “we’re all equal” doesn’t match up well with “hate crimes” legislation that calls for crimes against specific “groups” to be investigated more rigorously, does it?)

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