Monday, March 03, 2008

California State Supreme Court to rule on same-sex marriage

The California Supreme Court will hold a hearing on Tuesday on the constitutionality of the state law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
It shapes up as the most momentous case the court has heard in decades - comparable to the 1981 ruling that guaranteed Medi-Cal abortions for poor women, the 1972 ruling that briefly overturned the state's death penalty law, and the 1948 decision, that struck down California's ban on interracial marriage.

Supporters of same-sex marriage invoke the state's commitment to equality regardless of gender or sexual orientation, the needs of the children of gay and lesbian couples, the persistence of societal discrimination, and legal rights such as freedom of expression, association and privacy.
In defense of its law, the state cites a cultural tradition far older than statehood, the will of the people as expressed in a 2000 initiative, the steps California has already taken toward equal rights for gays and lesbians, and the power of lawmakers and voters to determine state policy.
Beyond those arguments, groups opposing same-sex marriage want the court to justify the state law on moral or scientific grounds, as an affirmation that limiting matrimony to a man and a woman is best for children and society.
The hearing can be watched here.

A ruling is due within 90 days. (more...)

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