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BREAKING: The CA Supremes totally rule!

by Jeremy Hooper

California-3-2-1 1OMG, OMG, OMG -- The California Supreme Court has just made the historical decision to overturn the state's ban on same-sex marriage, opening up the freedom to marry to all Golden State citizens! Enjoy the chewy goodness:

The ruling: In re Marriage Cases, (S147999) [CA Courts pdf]

In the present case, it is readily apparent that extending the designation of marriage to same-sex couples clearly is more consistent with the probable legislative intent than withholding that designation from both opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples in favor of some other, uniform designation. In view of the lengthy history of the use of the term “marriage” to describe the family relationship here at issue, and the importance that both the supporters of the 1977 amendment to the marriage statutes and the electors who voted in favor of Proposition 22 unquestionably attached to the designation of marriage, 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.

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.

Plaintiffs are entitled to the issuance of a writ of mandate directing the appropriate state officials to take all actions necessary to effectuate our ruling in this case so as to ensure that county clerks and other local officials throughout the state, in performing their duty to enforce the marriage statutes in their jurisdictions, apply those provisions in a manner consistent with the decision of this court. Further, as the prevailing parties, plaintiffs are entitled to their costs.

The judgment of the Court of Appeal is reversed, and the matter is remanded to that court for further action consistent with this opinion.

No residency requirement, no stopgap civil unions system -- this is full nuptial parity for all who wish to utilize it! This is a true game-changer that just might go down in history as the beginning of the end for the "protect marriage" movement.

We're still processing all this; more to come...

**NOTE: Lambda Legal will be holding a press conference this evening at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's Village at Ed Gould Plaza (1125 N. McCadden Place). Attorneys for the plaintiff couples, as well as various community leaders, will be on site to discuss the ruling and what it means for us all.

**Read the full decision:

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Your thoughts

It's about time.

Posted by: | May 15, 2008 1:26:38 PM


Posted by: | May 15, 2008 1:34:41 PM

I've just been beaming over this news! Now, on to november so we can defeat this proposed amendment. Even knowing that it's going to be a tough fight can't bring me down right now.

Posted by: zortnac | May 15, 2008 1:36:41 PM

Yeah baby...my state RULES!!!

Posted by: Alonzo | May 15, 2008 1:46:14 PM

Yes, Alonzo -- it rules REASONABLY!

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 15, 2008 1:48:51 PM

This is GREAT! I just called Patty (my dear, sweet, loving partner) and was almost crying when I told her! We're getting married June 28, and we definitely canNOT wait!

Posted by: Gretchen | May 15, 2008 1:50:29 PM

and did I hear correctly the court is made up of 6 republicans and one democrat (at least in terms of their appointments)? Guess they can't really blame those "activist judges"

Posted by: Ron | May 15, 2008 1:51:38 PM

OMG! That's absolutely jaw-dropping! I think I need a Kleenex and a big group hug!


Posted by: dave b | May 15, 2008 1:53:54 PM

Ron, take a second to check out some the press releases from our good friends at FRC and Americans for Truth. They are, in fact, not wasting ANY time playing the activist judge card ;-) I guess ee probably should't say we're surprised.

All of the dissenting opinions and press releases I've read in the past 30 minutes as they've gone up also ALL fail to mention that marriage equality was passed by our legislature twice. They love to use emotionally galvanizing language like "the will of the people being robbed," but only because they're ignorant of our representative democracy, or more likely they simply just don't care that they're spinning the crap out of the issue.

If it wasn't early on a workday, I'd suggest a drinking game wherein we take a shot every time a dissenting opinion appears on a socially conservative political website that DOESN'T mention:

1. that it was 10 years since prop 22 was passed, and since then public opinion has changed.

2. that the our elected legislature passed marriage equality legislation twice

3. that of the 7 justices, 6 were appointed by republican governors.

Posted by: zortnac | May 15, 2008 2:09:57 PM

I hope and pray it really will help us secure full equality under the Law in all of these United States even Kansas.

Posted by: forbesfart | May 15, 2008 2:20:14 PM

Excellent news. 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.

Posted by: Bill Perdue | May 15, 2008 2:29:02 PM

Late to get news... But I hope you don't mind my saying, I told you so. I listened to the entire proceeding the day it was discussed, and all the judges questions, many of which brought out those specific features as to how and why the definition of family and protections for the same are STATE duties, that 'CU's' or 'DP's have been proven not to ensure family rights. That only full marriage equality will do so. It sure seemed well presented to me.
Did to 4 judges too!... So great!
As noted by someone yesterday it takes 30 days for SCourt orders to be 'implemented.' So June 28 should be fine for Gretchen and Patty... Congrats!

Posted by: LOrion | May 15, 2008 3:19:17 PM


and the Democratic judge's first judicial appointment was by a Republican. The author of the decision was first appointed by Ronald Reagan.

Hmmmm, I guess if they want to avoid "liberal activist judges" they shouldn't support Republicans.

(but your "10 years" isn't correct. Prop 22 passed in 2000, not 1998)

And it's going to be harder to argue that courts are overturning the will of the legislature when CA's house and senate pass gay marriage and the governor holds a big signing ceremony.

Posted by: Timothy Kincaid | May 15, 2008 3:22:22 PM

I am completely blown away! Most of the California Supreme Court Justices were appointed by conservatives . . . and even they see the error of Prop 22. The fundies are PISSED! I was out when the ruling came down, and listened on the radio. They are PISSED!

We now have to defeat this constitutional amendment.

I haven’t read the ruling yet, does anyone know if it is in effect immediately? or if it orders the legislature to make changes necessary to accommodate us?

Posted by: Dick Mills | May 15, 2008 3:48:37 PM

Thanks for the correction Timothy :-) I was trying to remember which year it was when I remembered myself, still in the closet, watching the polling information come in on the local news, feeling frustrated and sort of helpless when I saw it winning.

But anyway, yeah, 8 years. Check. thanks :-)

Posted by: zortnac | May 15, 2008 4:30:50 PM

I wonder if all the people that got married when Gavin Newsom allowed equal marriages in San Francisco, and then their marriages were overturned (annuled? I don't know what verbage they used to do it), can show their original marriage certificate and be "reinstated," as it were.

Posted by: Wren | May 15, 2008 5:50:55 PM

Its a good day to be from CA.

Posted by: Patrick B | May 15, 2008 9:27:30 PM

As usual it's up to me to rain on the big parade.

"This is a true game-changer that just might go down in history as the beginning of the end for the "protect marriage" movement." You mean the way Roe v. Wade was the end of the "protect unborn children" movement? Get real.

I'm very sorry to have to say this, but you are all being bad citizens. The CENTRAL RIGHT in a democratic nation is the right of the people to govern themselves. Today, however, four members of the California Supreme Court took it upon themselves to create a new legal institution, one which has no precedent in California's history. Despite the protestations of these four judges to the contrary, that is judicial activism on its face.

If the people of California are to enjoy the right to govern themselves then the creation -- or non-creation -- of new institutions like same-sex marriage must be decided by the people themselves or by their elected legislators.

With the issue of same-sex couples the people of a state have several options:

1) They can grant such couples no legal recognition and no legal privileges.

2) They can grant such couples certain legal privileges without formal recognition.

3) They can grant formal recognition but without all the privileges that married couples enjoy.

4) They can grant formal recognition that is the pretty much the same as marriage but by a different name.

5) They can make no distinction between same-sex and opposite-sex marriages.

Today four judges decided to force solution #5 onto the citizens of California. It is absurd to think that anything but their own views on homosexuality drove them to do so.

You may not like Matt Barber; Hell, even I think he's an ass. But as the saying goes, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. When Barber wrote the following,

"It’s absurd to suggest that the framers of the California state constitution could have ever imagined there’d be a day when so-called ‘same-sex marriage’ would even be conceptualized, much less seriously considered."

he was correct. Just when was the California Constitution amended to to make the traditional marriage definition a no-no? And how did this change escape everyone's notice until now?

The answer, of course, is that no such change ever occurred. Those cheering this decision do not care about the California Constitition, proper jurisprudence, or the people's right to a republican government. They only care about the policy result. Which, as a said before, is bad citizenship.

Posted by: David | May 15, 2008 11:55:58 PM

Yay, that is fabulous news! Go California.

Really so happy about this, it brings tears to my eyes.

Posted by: Yvonne | May 16, 2008 5:58:02 AM

All: After engaging/indulging David (two comments above) for over a year, I finally wised up this week and realized that every last dialogue we have shared has been completely fruitless. And not in just a "we disagree" way -- I enjoy engaging in reasoned dissent, which can be both fun and even educational. David, however, is simply not open to any exchange of ideas. I have gone over every comment he has ever made on here: The aggressively closed-off tone is the one consistent. His mind is made up, and any attempt at discourse with him will fall on the deafest of ears.

So I will no longer dignify any more of his self-aggrandizing, non-productive, school marm-like comments. It might be in everyone's best interest to do the same.

**Note: Oh, and David is trying to recruit others to come here and back him up. Here is what he left today on Gay Patriot's conservative site:

Please go to http://www.goodasyou.org and talk some sense into Jeremy Hooper and the others there.

I’m like a voice in the wilderness on that site!

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 16, 2008 9:38:52 AM

"Oh, and David is trying to recruit others to come here and back him up. Here is what he left today on Gay Patriot's conservative site:"

Snort! I saw that and pissed myself laughing. I've been dogpiled at GP's site numerous times and never went begging or help. I just stood my ground and kicked their brains in 8^)

Damn, homocons are punks.

Posted by: John Santos | May 16, 2008 4:45:53 PM


Posted by: Zack | May 17, 2008 2:30:18 AM

I thought, Jeremy, you weren't going to respond to my posts anymore. But then you seldom respond to any points I make, and didn't here.

I laughed out loud when you just gave up on the "Osteen getting Bakked" thread. Now I have to laugh again when you talk about my "aggressively closed-off tone." Not all of my comments have been critical -- which you well know if you actually reviewed them all. So I don't see how you can say such a tone is the one costant. However, when I have made criticisms, how have you typically replied? Either by saying you don't understand how anyone could possibly think this way, or with the attitude, 'Me agree with you? You've got to be kidding. Why, you oppose abortion!' Yet now you whine about my closed-off tone.

So I'm "self-aggrandizing" and "school marm-like," am I? Are you sure you're not engaging in psychological projection? Those terms accurately describe a good deal of what you do on this site.

Have you not condemned apoltical evangelicals for holding to a theology that isn't as gay friendly as you'd like?

Have you not crowed about American values, all while considering it perfectly proper for judges to disenfranchise anyone who doesn't agree with your view that homosexual unions = heterosexual marriage?

Why, yes, Jeremy you have. So don't talk to me about being preachy and self-serving.

The problem you have with me is simple: I've broken the pattern typical for commenters here. Most people who reply to your posts are either (rarely) the very "'mo foes" you blog about or (commonly) fellow lefties who cheer you on. I am neither.

I challenge your prejudices, Jeremy. I ask questions you don't want asked. I bring up matters you don't want to understand. So you've finally just given up talking to me, and are encouraging other readers to do the same. No matter. I don't care whether you or anyone else replies to me.

I congratulate you on having read enough of GayPatriot to have seen my post about you there. I am sorry if you thought I wanted a lot of conservatives to just gang up on you. I thought perhaps Bruce, Dan, or some of their regular readers could get through to you where I had failed.

When I first came across your site I liked it. I was impressed by your use of humor. The more I read of it over time, however, the more I found that I disagreed with. I thought by sharing my different perspective I could get you to question your more stridently leftist opinions.

I now see I was overly optimistic -- foolishly so. You are too much of a far-left, secular-progressive idealogue. I have not given up all hope, but I would probably have been smarter to try converting Rush Limbaugh to communism.

Posted by: David | May 17, 2008 3:27:16 AM

I think David might be in love with Jeremy.

Posted by: Joe | May 17, 2008 8:14:15 AM

I think David just has delusions of grandeur.

Posted by: ted | May 18, 2008 5:55:10 PM

It's about time! And not to take away from this event, but other states should consider this too!!!

Posted by: | May 19, 2008 8:37:31 PM

The ability that the web provides to post one's opinions with one's face unseen and one's voice unheard can bring out the worst in people. Coupled with politics, which certainly seldom brings out the best in folks, this provides an opportunity for all sorts of nonsense and nastiness.

Of course, the chance of senseless trash-talk is increased when conversing with left-wingers, as most are left-wingers because they are stuck in adolescence.

So on top of being called a "punk" for making a desperate plea elsewhere, my comments also earn snide remarks about my being in love Mr. Hooper.

These don't deserve any further comment from me, and I wouldn't have mentioned anything at all if it weren't for Ted's accusation against me, which I just can't let pass.

No, Ted, I do not have delusions of grandeur. What I do have is a strong, basic belief in the right to self-government.

Not one of the commenters here, including Jeremy, has made a substantive, law-based argument in favor of the Court's ruling. I effectively pointed that out by making a reasoned argument against the ruling. What is my reward? Personal insults. What a pleasant bunch the gay left are.

Ted, perhaps you are the one with the delusions of grandeur. You most certainly are an @sshole.

Posted by: David | May 22, 2008 2:22:48 AM

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