In a 4-3 ruling, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that same-sex couples should be permitted to marry, rejecting state marriage laws as discriminatory. The broadly worded decision is also expected to have the effect of invalidating virtually any law that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.
Lesbian talkshow host Ellen DeGeneres announced her plans to wed her long-time partner Australian actress Portia de Rossi during the taping of her talk show on Thursday (to be aired on Friday in the US), the day the California Supreme Court announced its ruling.
Two dozen gay couples along with the city and gay rights organisations then sued.
The turn of events spurred a national dialogue over gay rights and a conservative backlash in a presidential election year which resulted in several states passing constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. Today, 27 states have such amendments.
Chief Justice Ronald George, who wrote the 121-page majority opinion, said the state Constitution's guarantees personal privacy and autonomy which protects "the right of an individual to establish a legally recognised family with the person of one's choice."
He said the 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 opposite-sex couples."
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who previously has vetoed two bills in favour of gay marriage, issued a statement saying he "respects" the decision and "will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn" it.
However religious and social conservatives who oppose same-sex marriage said the court had overstepped its bounds and are seeking to override the court ruling in favour of same-sex marriage.
Until that happens, same-sex couples are likely to be able to tie the knot in as little as a month. And unlike Massachusetts - the only other state where same-sex marriage is legal, California has no residency requirement for obtaining a marriage license; meaning gays from around the country are able to go to California to be wed.
Prior to the ruling, California, New Jersey and Vermont have legislation which grants same-sex partners many of the same legal rights as married couples.
The ruling is considered monumental by virtue of the state's size - 38 million of the total population of 302 million are Californian residents. According to U.S. census figures, there are some 100,000 same-sex couples in California, about a quarter of whom have children.
The California Supreme Court was the first state high court to strike down a law barring interracial marriage in a 1948. The United States Supreme Court did not follow suit until 1967.
A happy day, but sad that Mrs. Loving ded just 2 weeks ago, in her eighties, after expressing support, and didn't live to see it; it was she who overturned the laws banning inter-racial marriage in the USA, when she was prosecuted for marrying a white man in the 1960s, appealing to the supreme court.
all the best
Is there any Lesbian and Gay couples from Singapore going over for marriage?
If there's, i'm sure one dae i'll be there too.
It is surprising to read about so-called "religiious and social conservatives" opposing same-sex marriage and declaring that the California Supreme Court had "overstepped its bounds". What are these "bounds" and who sets them? Are these religions above the courts in deciding these matters?
Why would I want my life to be controlled by a religion or religious group that I don't even believe in? Why should anyone feel they have the divine right to decide how other people live, just because they happen to "believe" in a certain book about a certain "God"? Would any of these people care if I lost my job and was starving to death? So, what business is it of theirs how I choose to live?
Isn't it time to give the boot to these religious fanatics; tell them to get their ugly noses out of our private lives? Organized religions are the bane of society, and need to be driven to extinction. Congratulations to the California Supreme Court for not cowing down before mindless hate groups.
How i wish i am able to marry my Partner tOo!!
I wanna lead my OWN LIFE but not for Others!!
ASIA.. WAKE UP!!!
Make it happen, Singapore!
1) have a long distance relationship
2) breakup because immigration does not accept same-sex marriage and it's stressful mentally, physically, emotionally and financially keeping a long distance relationship.
Also, there maybe a chance that this law might be overturned and then it will be like was happened in SF years ago. This marriage law is not confirmed, we have to wait till Nov to really know if it stay or not.
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