Thursday, May 15, 2008
In a 4-3 ruling written by Chief Justice Ronald George, the Supreme Court struck down California laws that restrict marriage to heterosexual couples, finding that it is unconstitutional to deprive gays and lesbians of the equal right to walk down the aisle with a marriage license in hand.
The California and Massachusetts Supreme Courts are now the only top courts in the country to uphold the right of gay couples to marry.
"The California 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 to opposite-sex couples," the court observed in a 121-page decision.
The reaction was immediate.
A spokesman for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom sent a simple e-mail to his press staff: "We won."
When the news was signaled to the more than 100 people gathered on the steps outside the federal courthouse in San Francisco by a thumbs up, they let out whoops of joy, and some broke out in tears....(Click here for remainder of article).