First Round for Gay Marriage in California

A Superior Court in San Francisco (talk about forum shopping) has ruled that the State of California cannot legislate that marriage is only to exist between a man and a woman because it violates the California Constitution.

In the eagerly awaited opinion likely to be appealed to the state's highest court, San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer said that withholding marriage licenses from gays and lesbians is unconstitutional.

"It appears that no rational purpose exists for limiting marriage in this state to opposite-sex partners," Kramer wrote.

The judge wrote that the state's historical definition of marriage, by itself, cannot justify the denial of equal protection for gays and lesbians.

"The state's protracted denial of equal protection cannot be justified simply because such constitutional violation has become traditional," Kramer wrote.

I would like to say I'm surprised, but I'm not. Given the location of the court in one of the most liberal counties in America, it does not surprise me at all that the honorable Judge Kramer could find "no rational purpose" exists for "limiting marriage in the state to opposite-sex partners." I guess that means that the legislators in all states that have visited this issue and the 70% of the United States population that reject the concept of same sex marriages are simply irrational in their views. Sorry, I don't buy it.

But I wonder if this will go all the way to the United States Supreme Court because I doubt that any of the courts that will hear it prior to that time (the Appeals Court and the Supreme Court of California) will overturn the decision because it is my recollection that they are both situated in San Francisco. Still, the United States Supreme Court can only hear the case if it involves federal law, and the state court judge has sought to take out the federal elements by making his ruling under the California Consitution. It will be interesting to see where this goes.

In the meantime, I welcome everyone to explore for themselves whether the people are simply acting irrationally or whether they do, in fact, have a reasonable/rational basis for holding same sex marriage to be undesirable.

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