Around the Country, High Courts Follow California’s Lead

New York Times
March 11, 2008
The CA Supreme Court is the most influential state court in the nation, clearly making the outcome of the marriage equality case very important to the entire nation. At the marriage hearing, Chief Justice George quoted repeatedly from a 1948 decision of his court, Perez v. Sharp — the first state high court decision to strike down a law banning interracial marriage. Over the next two decades, the rest of the nation followed it, culminating in a similar ruling by the United States Supreme Court in 1967. (Link)

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Court Likely to Rule in Favor of the Freedom to Marry

New America Media
March 8, 2008
Former Berkeley City Attorney Manuela Albuquerque is sure the California Supreme Court will invalidate the marriage law's exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage as a violation of the California Constitution, and presents a lay person's guide to the gay marriage cases' legal terrain and the import of the justices' questions. [Link]

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OPINION: Civil Unions Aren’t Marriage

Los Angeles Times
March 8, 2008
In a 3½-hour session that sounded sometimes like a law school seminar and sometimes like a radio talk show, the California Supreme Court this week wrestled with the question of whether the state Constitution's guarantee of "equal protection of the laws" requires the recognition of same-sex couples' marriages.... The best response came from the lawyer for the city of San Francisco, which briefly granted marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2004. "Words matter," Deputy City Atty. Therese Stewart said. "Names matter." [Link]

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MD lawmakers urged to avoid civil union ‘disaster’

Washington Blade
March 7, 2008
Steven Goldstein, chair of Garden State Equality, told Maryland legislators, “the New Jersey civil union law is a disaster. It is not working like marriage. It is proving that civil unions are no compromise.” (Link)

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MS lawmakers go after gay adoptive parents

Advocate
March 7, 2008
A bill in the Mississippi state Senate would bar cohabiting unmarried couples, including gay and lesbian couples, from adopting children. [link]

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California court ponders marriage case

Washington Blade
March 7, 2008
Questioning whether separate is equal, the California Supreme Court this week considered ending the exclusion of same-sex couples and their families from marriage. Said Evan Wolfson, "As several questions and answers underscored, California has already conceded these families exist, that they should have protections and responsibilities akin to married people. The state is trying to claim that they’re already being treated, quote unquote, equally. If all that is true, what is the reason to deny them the freedom to marry, especially in light of testimony and evidence that the denial makes their life harder?” [Link]

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Marriage for same-sex couples—it’s personal

Los Angeles Times
March 6, 2008
As the CA high court considers ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage, couples who wed in the Bay Area savor the joy of the institution and discuss the difference between domestic partnership and marriage. (Link)

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Interpreting a Landmark Ruling As Big Step Toward Marriage Equality

The Edge
March 6, 2008
When a New York appellate court ruled that out-of-state marriages between same-sex couples were legal there, it marked a major step in the establishing of marriage equality in this country. But the victory, while certainly another step in the right direction, was maddeningly ironic: New York gays and lesbians who want to get married still can’t do so in their home state--which will, however, recognize them if done elsewhere. [Link]

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OPINION: State Supreme Court weighs marriage question

Sacramento Bee
March 6, 2008
Daniel Weintraub discusses the arguments made during the California Supreme Court’s hearing on marriage, noting the judges’ comments and questions, and the absurdity of the opposition’s statements. [Link]

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Need to End Exclusion from Marriage Gains Notice in State Court

New York Times
March 6, 2008
On the way home from work in Rochester, Patricia Martinez stopped at a liquor store and bought a small bottle of Champagne to celebrate her marriage to another woman. The wedding took place in Canada nearly four years ago, but it wasn't until Feb. 1 that a New York appellate court declared it valid in the state... Last week in Manhattan, a State Supreme Court justice, ruling in a divorce proceeding, recognized the Canadian marriage of two New York City women. Advocates for marriage say the two court decisions last month granting reciprocity in New York to marriages of same-sex couples in other jurisdictions simply underline what most people would consider common sense. [Link]

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