MSNBC reports on a landmark ruling this morning by California's Supreme Court, declaring the state's ban on same sex marriage unconstitutional:
SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court has overturned a ban on gay marriage, paving the way for California to become the second state where gay and lesbian residents can marry.
The justices released the 4-3 decision Thursday, saying that domestic partnerships are not a good enough substitute for marriage in an opinion written by Chief Justice Ron George.
"Under these circumstances, we cannot find that retention of the traditional definition of marriage constitutes a compelling state interest," the court said in a majority decision.
More from the majority's opinion:
Furthermore, in contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual’s capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual’s sexual orientation, and, more generally, that an individual’s sexual orientation — like a person’s race or gender — does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights. We therefore conclude that in view of the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship, the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples.
For the Court's complete opinion, see In Re: Marriage Cases.
More reading - the law blogs weigh in:
- Congratulations to California Same-Sex Married Couples - Volokh Conspiracy
- California Supreme Court Strikes Down Gay Marriage Ban - ABA Journal Top Stories
- California Supremes Overturn Gay-Marriage Ban - WSJ Law Blog
- California Supreme Court Issues Decision on Same-Sex Marriage - Family Law Prof Blog
- The Impact of California's Recognition of Same-Sex Marriages on Labor and Employment Law - Workplace Prof Blog
- California becomes second U.S. state to legalize gay marriage - Law is Cool
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto