Today the California Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling that laws restricting the right to marry to opposite sex couples are a violation of the state’s constitution. The decision, 4-3, by a Court that is dominated by Republicans and moderate-conservatives will no doubt be controversial and will be challenged by an initiative measure.
I have to admit, that as a gay man when I heard of the decision I broke down in tears. Finally I have been recognized as a person of equal rights and merit to the rest of you. I am a human being, not a mistake.
California, with both the largest population and the largest gay population in the U.S. joins with Massachusetts in recognizing the right of all its citizens to equal treatment by the state.
In a complex ruling, the Court ruled that San Francisco acted precipitously when it issued marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples in 2004 and ruled those marriages were not lawful. The state passed the most extensive domestic partnership law in the nation but this ruling held that separate is not equal.
I am not going to argue here the wisdom of this ruling. Frankly, if you cannot see it, I am unlikely to convince you to change your mind. I respect the right of any religion to decline to officiate such marriages, but the state has no right to enforce religious beliefs.
This is a short article but my joy is overflowing and I wanted to share this tremendous decision with you.