California high court rules same-sex marriage ban violates state constitution

California high court rules same-sex marriage ban violates state constitution

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of California [official website] Thursday overturned [opinion, PDF] a state ban on same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive], ruling 4-3 in In re Marriage Cases [case materials] that the ban violated protections on the right to "form a family relationship" enshrined in the California Constitution [text]. Rights groups said that the decision could lead to California becoming the second state after Massachusetts [JURIST report] to legalize same-sex marriage, but religious and conservative organizations are currently pushing to include a measure on the November ballot to write a ban on gay marriage into the state constitution.

The lawsuits stemmed from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's 2004 decision to issue marriage licenses to 4,000 same-sex couples [JURIST report]. In 2006, the state attorney general requested [JURIST report] that the Court review an intermediate appellate court's decision to uphold [JURIST report] the same-sex marriage ban. AP has more. The San Francisco Chronicle has local coverage.