Tuesday, November 14, 2006

California SSM Simmering Again

Despite last month's rejection of same-sex marriage rights, California's high court will consider considering it again, from a different angle.

Filed yesterday, this is the version that puts the constitutional question directly to the state Supreme Court, based on an appeal of the reversal of the original victory. Whew. The brief history, from the Equality California news on it, is:
In April 2005, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard A. Kramer ruled that barring same-sex couples from marriage unconstitutionally discriminates on the basis of sex and violates the fundamental right to marry. The California Court of Appeal overturned Judge Kramer’s ruling in a 2–1 decision last month, saying that California may continue to bar same-sex couples from marriage. The petition filed today asks the California Supreme Court to reverse the Court of Appeal decision.
More specifics are available from the AP report.

The Supreme Court does not have to review the appeals decision. If it decides to, that may take a year or more. It does have to say it will or won't within 90 days.

Right-wing talk shows and blogs are having a great time with the news that two of the original plaintiffs, Lancy Woo and Christy Chung, just separated after 18 years and a child together. Of course, that's understandable and meaningful, because mixed-gender couples never separate. Um hum.

They are registered domestic partners who were denied the right to marry. Their exit from the case does not affect it legally.

Interestingly enough, the AP story ends with that angle:
Same-sex marriage opponents have argued that the July breakup of Julie and Hillary Goodridge in Massachusetts and the August breakup of Carolyn Conrad and Kathleen Peterson in Vermont show that same-sex unions do not have the staying power of heterosexual marriage. But the nation's divorce rate hovers between 40 and 50 percent while same-sex couples in officially sanctioned relationships appear to be separating at a much lower rate. In Vermont, which became the first state to enact civil unions five years ago, 113 of 8,109 couples have terminated them, about 1.4 percent.
Far more important from our view is that the California court has shown the same timidity that the Massachusetts and New York high courts have. All seem terrified of making a stand. They are nearly begging their legislatures to resolve the conflicts between equal rights and gender restrictions in marriage.

Activist judges, in a pigs eye.

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