California court lifts same-sex marriage ban

// 15 May 2008

Great news – California’s supreme court has lifted a ban on same-sex marriage, reports the BBC.

The ban was approved by voters in 2000 but challenged by gay rights activists and the city of San Francisco.

California’s legislature has twice passed laws to make gay marriage legal but the state governor has vetoed them.

The ruling paves the way for California to become only the second US state, after Massachusetts, to allow same-sex marriage, although more challenges are expected.

The seven-judge panel voted 4-3 in favour of the plaintiffs who argued that the 2000 law was discriminatory.

You can find the full legal opinion and links to various reactions from LGBT groups over at Pam’s House Blend.

(Via Bilerico) Citizen Crain explains

that this is particularly significant, because California’s supreme court is held in such high-regard across the US. Could it trigger a wave of similar rulings, and turn the anti-gay marriage tide? Possibly, but Crain warns that those who oppose gay marriage are going to make it a tough fight even to retain this ruling in California. A group called (how ironically!) is preparing a ballot, which could see the ruling voted down:

California alone represents the 8th largest economy in the world and over 12% of the U.S. population. In short, what happens in California has tremendous influence economically, politically, socially and culturally. California has a long history of starting new ideas in the United States.

Our opponents know all this, so it will be a do-or-die situation for them. They will want to punish the court if they rule our way to send a message to other state courts not to do the same. If they lose the ballot initiative in California, they know the same sex marriage war is all but over.

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