Courts in L.A. Will Perform Gay Marriages on June 16

May 21, 2008 11:24 AM
by Rachel Balik
The California Supreme Court ruled that it is illegal to ban gay marriage, and local courts are getting ready to perform such marriages when the ruling takes effect.

30-Second Summary

The California Supreme Court ruled earlier this month to overturn a state law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. On June 16, the courthouse in Los Angeles County will begin performing gay marriages. "We expect that when the decision goes into effect, that there will be an initial peak in the volume of people coming into our office," said Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan. "We want to be sure we're prepared for that. We want to make sure we're staffed up for that."

Advocates of gay marriage feel that the court’s decision could be a turning point for gay marriage nationwide. “What happens in California, either way, will have a huge impact around the nation. It will set the tone,” said the executive director of Equality California, a gay rights group, prior to the ruling.

Although California already allowed for domestic partnerships between same-sex couples, the term marriage "has deep meaning for both sides of the case," says a lawyer for the city of San Franscisco.

Simultaneously, those opposed to gay marriage have petitioned for an amendment banning gay marriage that will appear on the ballot in November. The California legislature has tried to legalize gay marriage twice, but Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the law each time, saying the decision should be left to voters or the court. 

Headline Link: Courts ramping up to perform same-sex marriages

Background: ‘California Supreme Court overturns gay marriage ban’

Opinion & Analysis: The ‘M’ word

Reaction: Proposed California state constitutional amendment to ban marriage

Historical Context: Same-sex marriage and civil unions in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Vermont

Related Topic: Defining marriage in Virginia


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