California lifts gay marriage ban

BBC News 15 May 2008

California’s top court has ruled that a state law banning marriage between same-sex couples is unconstitutional. The state’s Supreme Court said the “right to form a family relationship” applied to all Californians regardless of sexuality. The ban was approved by voters in 2000 but challenged by gay rights activists and the city of San Francisco. The state legislature twice passed laws to legalise gay marriage, but Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed them. He said California’s court system should rule on the matter.

The seven-judge panel voted 4-3 in favour of the plaintiffs who argued that the 2000 law was discriminatory. “Limiting the designation of marriage to a union ‘between a man and a woman’ is unconstitutional and must be stricken from the statute,” California Chief Justice Ron George said in the written opinion.

Family First Comment: is a coalition of grassroots organizations, churches and voters, formed in order to place a constitutional amendment on the November 2008 ballot. The Supreme Court’s ruling coincides with the submission of 1.1 million signatures to California’s 58 counties. Known as the California Marriage Protection Act, the initiative’s signatures are now undergoing a review for validation. Based on the current projection of valid signatures, it appears the initiative will qualify for the ballot.
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