The California Supreme Court, striking down two state laws that had limited marriages to unions between a man and a woman, ruled on Thursday that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. The 4-to-3 decision, drawing on a ruling 60 years ago that struck down a state ban on interracial marriage, would make California the second state, after Massachusetts, to allow same-sex marriages. The decision, which becomes effective in 30 days unless the court grants a stay, was greeted with celebrations at San Francisco City Hall, where thousands of same-sex marriages were thrown out by the courts four years ago. It was denounced by religious and conservative groups that promised to support an initiative proposed for the November ballot that would amend the California Constitution to ban same-sex marriages and overturn the decision. Same-sex marriage has been a highly contentious issue in presidential and Congressional elections, but it was not immediately clear what role the ruling would have this year.
California Court Strikes Down Gay Marriage Ban
California's supreme court upholds gay marriage ban | Prop 8 | The Guardian
That's the assessment of Hillary Goodridge, one of 14 people whose lawsuit led Massachusetts in to become the first state to sanction gay and lesbian marriages. Twelve years later, by a vote, the high court made it 50 states. More than , same-sex couples in the United States are married, including about , who have wed since the ruling. The Supreme Court extended workplace protections nationwide last week for the LGBTQ community, ruling that a landmark civil rights law barring sex discrimination in the workplace applies to gay, lesbian and transgender workers. But the court's majority , led by conservative Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch , did not close the door on religious exemptions, saying "other employers in other cases may raise free exercise arguments that merit careful consideration. The court already is considering four major religion cases, including several with implications for gay, lesbian and transgender people.
California's supreme court upholds gay marriage ban
Now, her case goes to the Supreme Court. Supreme Court will decide whether California's Proposition 8 marriage amendment is constitutional and whether the federal government can refuse to recognize gay couples' marriages for tax purposes and other reasons, the court announced Friday. Decisions in both cases, by the court's practice, are expected by the end of June.
The Supreme Court in a decision struck down a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and declared that same-sex couples who are legally married deserve equal rights under federal law to the benefits that go to all other married couples. The decision is a landmark win for the gay rights movement. It voids a section of the law known as DOMA, which was adopted with bipartisan support in Congress in to deny all benefits and recognition to same-sex couples. Justice Anthony Kennedy, speaking for the majority, said DOMA was unconstitutional because it violated the right to liberty and to equal protection for gay couples. Passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in , the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, for the first time defined marriage for federal purposes as a union between a man and a woman and allowed states to deny legal recognition to same-sex marriages performed outside their borders.