Thursday, May 15, 2008

free to be you and me

In a monumental 4-3 decision, the California Supreme Court made history today by ruling that a state ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, effectively rendering gay marriage legal in the state of California.

California is the second U.S. state, following Massachusetts, to recognize marriage equality.

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said the following in a statement today:
This is a historic day for the state of California, and a long-awaited day for the plaintiffs in this case and their families. The California Supreme Court has made clear that same-sex couples in committed relationships and their families deserve the same level of respect afforded to opposite-sex couples. The court did its job by ensuring that the state constitution provides the same rights and protections for everyone. This is a decision that strengthens California families.

We congratulate and commend the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, Heller Ehrman, the Law Office of David C. Codell, Equality California, Our Family Coalition and, of course, the courageous plaintiff couples and their families who looked to the courts to defend their rights.
Civil unions or domestic partnerships are available to same-sex couples in Connecticut, Washington, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont, and Washington, D.C.

Gay marriage is currently recognized in five countries: Spain, the Netherlands, South Africa, Belgium, and Canada.

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