From the California Supreme Court's Ruling Today

Under the strict scrutiny standard, unlike the rational basis standard, in order to demonstrate the constitutional validity of a challenged statutory classification the state must establish (1) that the state interest intended to be served by the differential treatment not only is a constitutionally legitimate interest, but is a compelling state interest, and (2) that the differential treatment not only is reasonably related to but is necessary to serve that compelling state interest. Applying this standard to the statutory classification here at issue, we conclude that the purpose underlying differential treatment of opposite-sex and same-sex couples embodied in California’s current marriage statutes — the interest in retaining the traditional and well-established definition of marriage — cannot properly be viewed as a compelling state interest for purposes of the equal protection clause, or as necessary to serve such an interest.

A number of factors lead us to this conclusion. First, the exclusion of same-sex couples from the designation of marriage clearly is not necessary in order to afford full protection to all of the rights and benefits that currently are enjoyed by married opposite-sex couples; permitting same-sex couples access to the designation of marriage will not deprive opposite-sex couples of any rights and will not alter the legal framework of the institution of marriage, because same-sex couples who choose to marry will be subject to the same obligations and duties that currently are imposed on married opposite-sex couples. Second, retaining the traditional definition of marriage and affording same-sex couples only a separate and differently named family relationship will, as a realistic matter, impose appreciable harm on same-sex couples and their children, because denying such couples access to the familiar and highly favored designation of marriage is likely to cast doubt on whether the official family relationship of same-sex couples enjoys dignity equal to that of opposite-sex couples. Third, because of the widespread disparagement that gay individuals historically have faced, it is all the more probable that excluding same-sex couples from the legal institution of marriage is likely to be viewed as reflecting an official view that their committed relationships are of lesser stature than the comparable relationships of opposite-sex couples. Finally, retaining the designation of marriage exclusively for oppositesex couples and providing only a separate and distinct designation for same-sex couples may well have the effect of perpetuating a more general premise — now emphatically rejected by this state — that gay individuals and same-sex couples are in some respects “second-class citizens” who may, under the law, be treated differently from, and less favorably than, heterosexual individuals or opposite-sex couples. Under these circumstances, we cannot find that retention of the traditional definition of marriage constitutes a compelling state interest. Accordingly, we conclude that to the extent the current California statutory provisions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples, these statutes are unconstitutional.


Hot damn! Where should I register? :)


It's wonderful news and about time! Now Todd darling I'll be awaiting a ring from you and NOT on the "Ameche" either, don't extend yourself, I'm a home girl, something simple from Harry Winston of Van Cleef will be just fine. ;)
Anonymous said…
I really wonder how dumb people are, when gay divorces start happening, the true cost of such equality will become apparent, included the splitting of pensions, 401ks and alimony. On lasting love side the loss of part of your social security just like straight people. Although it will be interesting to see a real cat fight when splitting assets. Fighting over the collection of dildoes and gay porn will be interesting to see in court papers. By the way, you didn't like the Sponge Bob comment?
toddx said…
Not really. I thought it was a tad inappropriate.

As for the "dumbness" of people, I would say it knows no bounds. Nevertheless, I think we all should have the same rights AND responsibilities. They will go hand in hand.
Anonymous said…
I'm sorry, it wasn't meant to offend you as much as play on your headline.
toddx said…
No worries. I wasn't offended. But I worry about the local 5th grade class that subscribes to my blog. They are so young and impressionable.

Think of the children!! :)
Darling Todd, you never mentioned a 5th grade class before, if those kids can empty an ashtray, mix a passable msrtini and vacume please send them over, I always thought Kathie Lee had the right idea. ;)
Anonymous said…
Is it really about rights or is it about validation for being gay and the ability to do the Gay equivalent of sticking up your middle finger up at the church and God. The term "civil union" was not accepted even if it guaranteed the same rights as marriage. Notice that there really aren't a lot of people of color making this into a big deal( heck, until this year I didn't even know I was a person of color). We (people of color) have faced discrimination all our lives without being gay. Add gay to the equation ( kind of a friend of a friend of Dorothy) and you see a lot of discrimination in the real world and especially in the gay community. We are just happy to be accepted at all and we don't worry about whether its called marriage or civil union.
toddx said…
Personally, I think it's both about rights and validation. The Court affirmed that I and my gay brothers and sisters are not second-class citizens and cannot be treated as such in the legal realm. Civil unions, however similar, are simply not the same. Separate but equal doesn't work because it sets up, however subtly, a hierarchy. And, I think, in the arena of human rights, we cannot afford a hierarchical approach.

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