Thursday, August 12, 2004

CA Supreme Court Voids Gay Marriages

On February 12, Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples in defiance of state law that defines marriage strictly as a union between a man and a woman. The marriages were halted on March 11 and the California Supreme Court agreed to rule on whether Gavin Newsom overstepped his bounds. They ruled on that today:
The California Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that San Francisco's mayor overstepped his authority by issuing same-sex marriage licenses this spring. The court also voided all the marriages of gay and lesbian couples sanctioned by the city.

The court, however, did not resolve whether the California Constitution would permit a same-sex marriage, ruling instead on the narrow issue of whether local officials could bypass California's judicial and legislative branches.

The constitutionality of the law that restricts marriage to between a man and a woman is currently being challenged in state courts and is not what this ruling addressed. The Massachusetts Supreme Court's decision that a ban on same sex marriage was unconstitutional led to the legalization of same sex marriage in that state. That is clearly the ultimate goal of Newsom and my guess is that this is seen as just a temporary setback, not the cause's death knell.


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