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HISTORY OF SAME SEX MARRIAGE IN CALIFORNIA
through PROPOSITION 8 and its AFTERMATH
(reverse chronological order)

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  •  2010 - August
    So, while the once-and-future governor, Jerry Brown, and the current governor, the Govinator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger,  would like an immediate implementation of the court ruling which decreed Proposition 8 a violation of the federal constitution, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, does not support gay marriage. For shame.  It may not be politically expedient for the President to support equal rights for all,  but it is morally repugnant that he does not. Separate is not equal, a concept in which our President should be very aware.
  •  Complete Arguments/Testimony from Prop 8 Trial
  •  2010 - August
    Prop 8 Ruling

    The entire text of the brilliantly authored ruling.
  •  Editorial
    Don't miss this very well-written discussion of the Prop 8 ruling, and what it means. I wish I had written it myself.
  •  Prop 8 Trial
    Defenders of Prop 8 are using arguments long ago proven to be factually and historically inaccurate. While an uninformed populace may believe them - or choose to suspend disbelief in support of their own personal prejudices, we need to hope that the Court will not be so easily swayed, or mislead.  Live blogging here.  More on equal marriage rights here.   
  •  2008 - December
    No marriages have been annulled, but no additional marriages are being performed. Approximately 20,000 marriages were performed during the window of opportunity. Proposition 8 is wending its way to the California Supreme Court. Will the Court stick to its guns that Equal Protection can not be legislated away, or removed from the Constitution by one portion overriding another? Let's hope not. Jerry Brown (the former "Governor Moonbeam"), Attorney General of the State of California has found a way to allow the State of California to oppose those seeking to enforce passage of Proposition 8. Normally an Attorney General is charged with trying to seek enforcement, but Attorney General Brown found a nifty way around this --- something to do with the California Constitution's commitment to equal protection (and therefore rights) for all its citizens.
  •  2008 - December
    Ken Starr. Yes, *that* Ken Starr, is helping out the folks attempting to ensure that gays and lesbians do not retain their right to marry in the State of California. Man, does this fellow have hang ups, or what?
  •  2008 - November
    Proposition 8 passes with a yes vote of approximately 52%. This battle was also fought with disgusting ads, and in great part funded by out-of-state monies, including large amounts from Utah and the Mormon Church.
  •  2008 - April
    The California Supreme Court rules that Proposition 22 and any other statutes purporting to limit marriage in California on the basis of sex violate the equal protection clause of the California State Constitution. (Note to the readers: The United States Constitution also has an Equal Protection Clause, which was a fundamental portion of the ruling in Loving v. Virginia.)
  •  2007
    The California Legislature formally commented that the unequal treatment of gays and lesbians vis--vis the gender specific language of the marriage statute  "specifically discriminated in favor of heterosexual couples and discriminated against, and continues to discriminate against, same-sex couples."
  •  2007
    Schwarzenegger again vetoed the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act.
  •  2007
    ProtectMarriage.com is at it again with Proposition 8, this time adding to the language of Proposition 22 below, adding the words, "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California" to the state constitution. This is prior to the overturning of Proposition 22 being overturned by the California Supreme Court.
  •  2005
    ProtectMarriage.com attempted to garner sufficient signatures to place a constitutional amendment on the California ballot to define marriage as "between a man and a woman." They failed to obtain sufficient signatures to put the petition on the ballot.
  •  2005
    The California State Legislature passed the "Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act" which would have recognized same-sex marriages in California. This was the first time a bill of this nature passed any state legislature. Governor Schwazenegger vetoed the Act, his press secretary providing the convenient excuse that the, "Governor believes the matter should be determined not by legislative action which would be unconstitutional but by court decision or another vote of the people of our state.
  •  2004
    Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco, without any statutory authority, decided to authorize the clerks of the city and county of San Francisco to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Ultimately the 3,995 marriages performed under these licenses were annulled by the California Supreme Court (In re Marriage Cases (2008) 43 Cal.4th 757 [76 Cal.Rptr.3d 683, 183 P.3d 384]).
  •  2003
    Passage of the California Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act (AB 205) was an important milestone, as the act specified that Domestic Partners were to be presumed to have all the rights and privileges (and obligations) as spouses under state law. There were some exceptions to this, including as to tax laws and the manner in which a Domestic Partnership could be dissolved (versus the "dissolution procedures") of a civil marriage. Enforcement of these provisions was retroactive, so the effective date of the law was delayed until January 1, 2005 so that all previously registered couples could be notified.
  •  2000
    After a hard-fought campaign, those against equal marriage rights for all passed Proposition 22, a ballot initiative which added a section to the California Family Code to formally define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The signs were disgusting. The campaign was a disgusting. If there was a fear tactic available to to used, it was used. Proposition 22 passed with 61% of the vote. The efforts to pass Proposition 22 were funded in large part by out of state money, including significant amounts from Utah and the Mormon Church.
  •  1999
    Bill 26 passed the California Assembly. This was the first time a state created any form of "domestic partnership" without a Court Order or other judicial intervention.
  •  1977
    The California Legislature amended the Civil Code 4100 (presently Family Code 300) to read that "marriage is arising out of a contract between a man and a woman.  
     

MORE ABOUT MARRIAGE

Relationships: Couple Issues: Marriage Rights
Loving vs. Virginia - Analysis on how/why it should ultimately lead to nationwide recognition of same-sex marriage.
 


 

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Drop a note to Deborah at gaylesissues@rslevinson.com

copyright 1986-2010 Deborah Levinson