Thursday, May 15, 2008

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE IN CALIFORNIA

To say this is wonderful news is a gross understatement!

"(San Francisco, California) The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Prop 22, the voter approved initiative used to block same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

"The court also said that California's domestic partnership law is not a good enough substitute for marriage.

"The 4-3 ruling. written by Chief Justice Ron George paves the way for gay and lesbian couples to marry once the ruling is officially published by the court - in about 30 days.

"Once that is done same-sex couples in California will be able to obtain civil marriage licenses.

"'In contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual's capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual's sexual orientation, and, more generally, that an individual's sexual orientation - like a person's race or gender - does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights,' George wrote for the majority on the mostly Republican appointed court."

[For the full article, see here.]

Also see here.

Also see here. This article, in addition to reporting the wonderful news, wrote the following:

"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has twice vetoed legislation that would've granted marriage rights to same-sex couples, said in a news release that he respected the court's decision and 'will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling.'"

Now, with California legitimizing same-sex marriage, Massachusetts having had same-sex marriage for several years, and with New York accepting as valid all same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, both foreign and domestic, it's just a matter of time before same-sex marriage will be legal in every state of the union!

WINNING PLAINTIFFS IN THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT MARRIAGE CASE AND THEIR ATTORNEY

LEFT TO RIGHT: Rev. Dr. Troy Perry, Attorney Gloria Allred, Phillip Ray De Blieck, Robin Tyler, Diane Olson. Gloria is holding Milos Reifsnyder-Smith, who has two gay dads. (Photo Credit: Angela Brinskele)
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NOTE: Rev. Troy D. Perry is the long-time human rights activist who performed the first public same-sex wedding service in the United States in 1969. In 1970, he sued in the California courts for legal recognition of same-sex marriage. While losing that case, he launched four decades of work and debate on behalf of marriage equality. In July 2003, Rev. Perry and his partner, Phillip Ray De Blieck, were legally married under Canadian law. They subsequently sued the State of California for legal recognition of their Canadian marriage. The Superior Court of California ruled in their favor; the Appeals Court ruled against their lawsuit. Today's historic ruling by the California Supreme Court makes legal marriage available to lesbian and gay couples in California.

STATEMENT:

Today the California Supreme Court ruled to legally recognize our marriage, which took place under Canadian law in Toronto, Canada, on July 16, 2003.

The Court's ruling says that our marriage is not less than or different from other marriages in this country; the court ruled that our marriage is equal in the eyes of the law to all other marriages.

We thank God that our prayers have been answered! This is a battle that our church, the Metropolitan Community Churches, has fought since I performed the first public same-sex wedding ceremony in the United States -- in Huntington Park, California, in 1969.

Today we both give honor to God for this victory.

On this momentous day, we want to acknowledge that we stand on the shoulders of others before us who fought for justice and blazed trails for equality, and who made this day possible.

One of our heroes died this month. Mildred Loving, an African-American who, along with her husband Richard, a white man, won the battle to legalize interracial marriage in the United States. Mildred Loving paid a steep price, solely for marrying the only man she ever loved. She was arrested, convicted, and banished from her home state of Virginia. Mildred, a soft-spoken, gentle woman, avoided the spotlight, but for the issue was always simple. In a 1967 interview on CBS News, she said, "I think marrying who you want is a right and no man should have anything to do with it. It's a God-given right."

Mildred Loving also said, "I am not a political person, but I am proud that Richard's and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight, seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving, and loving, are all about."

We also want to thank Robin Tyler and her partner Diane Olson. We are honored to have partnered with Robin and Diane to become the first two couples to initiate this lawsuit seeking marriage equality for all people in California and California's recognition of same-sex marriages performed in Canada.

We are deeply thankful for our attorney, Gloria Allred, and her law partners, Michael Masoko and John Goldberg, for taking this marriage equality case pro bono and arguing it all the way to the California Supreme Court. We could not have won this landmark case had it not been for Gloria Allred's deeply-held conviction that all people deserve equality -- including marriage equality -- under the law. And we are thankful to our denomination of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) for underwriting the court filing fees in this case.

We give honor to God for the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, under the direction of The Reverend Dr. Brent Hawkes, and their attorney, Mr. Doug Elliott. These leaders argued before the Supreme Court of Canada and won the right for all persons, including same-sex couples, to be legally married there. Had it not been for their groundbreaking and historic work, Phillip and I would not be married today. Everywhere we go, we proudly show our wedding bands to others and say, "Thank God for Canada!"

Tonight, we will go to the Metropolitan Community Church of Los Angeles (4953 Franklin Avenue, Los Angeles 90027, in the Los Feliz area) to give thanks for this victory for which we have worked and prayed for the past 39 years.

A press conference will take place after a short service of thanksgiving, beginning at 6 PM.
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4 comments:

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

Allayluya!

Jerry Maneker said...

Amen, John! There is a big move to get same-sex marriage as a ballot initiative to be brought before the California electorate, thereby seeking to prevent the Court's decision from being implemented. I'm still optimistic that with Schwazanegger's antipathy toward that initiative, and the Legislature's twice voting for same-sex marriage rights, beyond the political posturing, I doubt it will go anywhere. But I'll feel better after it's found that such an initiative either lacks the sufficient number of signatures, or is not allowed to go before the voters; it shouldn't as civil rights equality should not be up for majority vote.

DON CHARLES aka "STUFFED ANIMAL" said...

Giving glory to the Lord is absolutely the right thing to do in response to this court victory. As we all know, it may not stand, but its message of fairness comes across loud and clear . . . a message that originated with Jesus Christ when he commanded His followers to love others as they loved themselves.

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks Don Charles. If only the professing Christians who are fighting this decision for basic fairness understood the two Great Commandments: loving God and loving others as oneself, we'd have a much more civil, decent, and peaceful society. I'm optimistic that the Court's decision will stand, and we have to take to heart God's words through the prophet Isaiah: "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord." (Isaiah 54:17)