Monday, March 14, 2005

marriage wins a round

California Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer has struck down as unconstitional (under the California State Constitution) the restriction of marriage to purely male-female couples. You can download a pdf of the decision from Lambda Legal.

Some excerpts:

"To say that all men and all women are treated the same in that each may not marry someone of the same gender [an argument submitted to the court in favor of upholding the restriction of marriage to mixed gender couples] misses the point. ... The argument that the marriage limitations are not discriminatory because they are gender neutral is similar to arguments in cases dealing with anti-miscegenation laws. ... [Quoting the US Supreme Court]: "'we reject the notion that mere "equal application" of a statute containing racial classifications is enough ...'"

"[T]he question to be answered is whether [an] individual is being denied equal protection because of his/her characteristics."

"[T]he starting point is that one can choose who to marry, and that choice cannot be limited by the state unless there is a legitimate governmental reason for doing so."

Tradition, the judge says, is not by itself sufficient "reason."

The news always says the decision will be appealed, which means nobody gets to get married even though to prevent them from marrying is so obviously not a state power and an abrogation of human rights. Hmf.

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