HISTORY OF SAME SEX MARRIAGE IN CALIFORNIA
through PROPOSITION 8 and its AFTERMATH
(reverse chronological order)
- 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.
Arguments/Testimony from Prop 8 Trial
- 2010 - August
The entire text of the brilliantly authored ruling.
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.
here. More on equal marriage rights
- 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
- 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
The California Legislature formally commented that the unequal treatment
of gays and lesbians vis-à-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
Schwarzenegger again vetoed the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage
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.
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.
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
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]).
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.
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.
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
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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