News in Depth
CA Senate Passes Gender-Neutral Marriage Bill; We Post LB-Area State Senator Alan Lowenthal's Floor Speech Verbatim
(September 2, 2005) -- On September 1, 2005, the CA State Senate voted 21-15 [21 votes needed for passage] in favor of legislation authorizing gender-neutral marriage in CA. The Senate vote sends the measure to the Assembly...which narrowly rejected the measure earlier this year.
The legislation returned when its author, Assemblyman Mark Leno (D., SF), used a procedure (commonly called "gut and amend") that takes a bill on an entirely different subject (in this case, one dealing with fish and game & marine research) that previously cleared legislative committees, remove its text and substitute the gender-neutral marriage text. The measure was carried in the State Senate by Sen. Shiela Kuehl (D., Santa Monica). Among the bill's Assembly co-authors is Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza (D., LB-Carson).
The Senate debate took place in a markedly solemn tone of voice on both sides. The vote made national/international news. Reuters coverage, click here.
Among the most intense floor statements was that of State Senator Alan Lowenthal (D., LB-Sp-PV). We post it verbatim below. We also post the "aye" and "no" votes of State Senators on the measure.
Assembly action on the bill, now designated AB 849 (text below), could take place in the coming week.
State Sen. Alan Lowenthal: I rise in support of Assembly Bill 849. I do this for both personal and also policy issues.'
I'm very proud today to be a member of this institution, to be part of this debate. It will always be something that I remember as one of the most important days of my life really.
On a personal level, I just want to say that I remember growing up -- I was a child in the second world war -- and I remember growing up and being in fights right after the second world war where people would pick on me, I thought, because I was Jewish. And I said I'm just the same as you, why do you pick on me? Well, they said, you caused the death of my brother, or my uncle, or you were there, we had to go to war because of you or people like you.
And I remembered in the 60s when I joined the civil rights movement, seeing the tremendous inhumane treatment of my brothers and sisters, of my friends who were Black primarily, and I did not understand the tremendous inhumanity and I felt compelled to participate in that struggle.
And today for my own personal growth, I feel compelled to participate in this struggle.
But I also want to say a few things about the policy level, and to really look at some of the underlying assumptions that those that oppose marriage between two [same gender] persons, and to really indicate that there really are errors in these assumptions.
One is that somehow marriage between a man and a woman is somehow equated with family, that somehow nurturance and love and acceptance and support and security is related to one's gender
rather than the quality of the relationship. That is totally false. It's the quality of our relationships.
Two, that the best chance, I heard today, is when children grow up in a family with a man and a woman. Who are we talking about? Are we really talking about those children, or are we really talking about ourselves who will not treat children from families, of diverse families, with the same respect? That really is an indictment of ourselves and those that discriminate, not those families, that's what we're talking about.
And the third one is, that it is more natural, I hear that all the time, to be from a heterosexual family, that somehow we have equated what is natural with frequency of occurrence. If that it is so, if that's really what natural is, our society and the human species is doomed, because we cannot really move forward as a species, as a people, as a family, if we do not accept all variations as natural, and just that what is frequency of occurence is the most natural will never allow us to change, if we then have to exterminate, really, or eliminate all that are not in the most frequent.
That is not who we are as a people and how we have evolved till today.
So for those reasons, because what we're talking about today, marriage between two people, really does embody family, it is natural, and it really will be if we all embrace as the best chance, if we really provide and promote relationships really, I strongly stand here and support AB 849. It is the right thing to do, both policy, and it is the right thing for me to stand and join with my colleagues. Thank you.
LBReport.com posts the recorded Senate vote below.
VOTES - ROLL CALL
MEASURE: AB 849
TOPIC: Gender-neutral marriage.
LOCATION: SEN. FLOOR
MOTION: Assembly 3rd Reading AB849 Leno By Kuehl
(AYES 21. NOES 15.) (PASS)
Alarcon Alquist Bowen Cedillo
Chesbro Dunn Escutia Figueroa
Kehoe Kuehl Lowenthal Migden
Murray Ortiz Perata Romero
Simitian Soto Speier Torlakson
Aanestad Ackerman Ashburn Battin
Campbell Cox Denham Dutton
Florez Hollingsworth Maldonado Margett
McClintock Poochigian Runner
ABSENT, ABSTAINING, OR NOT VOTING
Ducheny Machado Morrow Scott
Below is the text of AB 849 as approved in the CA Senate on Sept. 1:
BILL NUMBER: AB 849 AMENDED
AMENDED IN SENATE JUNE 28, 2005
INTRODUCED BY Assembly
Members Leno, Nunez,
Goldberg, Koretz, Laird, and Lieber
( Principal coauthors:
Senators Kehoe, Kuehl, and Migden
( Coauthors: Assembly Members
Berg, Calderon, Chan, Chu,
Dymally, Evans, Hancock,
Jones, Klehs, Levine, Montanez,
Nation, Oropeza, Ridley-Thomas,
Ruskin, Saldana, and Yee
( Coauthors: Senators
Alarcon, Alquist, Cedillo, Figueroa,
Simitian, and Speier )
FEBRUARY 18, 2005
An act to add Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section
7059.5) to Part 1.7 of Division 6 of the Fish and Game Code, relating
to fisheries. amend Sections 300, 301, and 302 of,
and to add Section 403 to, the Family Code, relating to marriage.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
AB 849, as amended, Berg Leno .
Fish and game: marine research.
Existing law provides that marriage is a personal relation arising
out of a civil contract between a man and a woman. Existing law
provides for the issuance of marriage licenses and imposes duties on
county clerks in that connection, as specified. Existing law, enacted
by initiative measure, further provides that only marriage between a
man and a woman is valid or recognized in this state.
This bill would enact the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage
Protection Act, which would instead provide that marriage is a
personal relation arising out of a civil contract between 2 persons.
The bill would make conforming changes with regard to the consent to,
and solemnization of, marriage, and would make related findings and
By adding to the duties of county employees, this bill would
impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local
agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates
determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state,
reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these
Existing law provides for the propagation of fish and for the
establishment of an ocean resources enhancement and hatchery plan for
the purpose of basic and applied research on the propagation,
rearing, stocking, and distribution of adversely affected marine fish
species that are important to sport and commercial fishing.
This bill would declare that the policy of the state is to
facilitate collaboration between fishing men and women and scientists
and researchers employed by or contracted to the department in
conducting ocean and marine fisheries research, including, but not
limited to, the utilization of the knowledge of fishing men and
women, their employment in fish stock surveys, data collection, and
deployment of scientific equipment, and the utilization of fishing
vessels, whenever practical, to serve as platforms for ocean and
marine resources research.
This bill would also make legislative findings and declarations
relating to the utilization of the knowledge of fishing men and women
as platforms for ocean and marine fishery research.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no
yes . State-mandated local program: no
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Religious Freedom
and Civil Marriage Protection Act."
It is the intent of the Legislature that this act be interpreted
consistently with the guarantees of the First Amendment to the United
States Constitution and of Section 4 of Article I of the California
Constitution to free exercise of religion and enjoyment of religion
without discrimination or preference.
The Legislature finds and declares as follows:
(a) Civil marriage is a legal institution recognized by the state
in order to promote stable relationships and to protect individuals
who are in those relationships. The institution of marriage also
provides important protections for the families of those who are
married, including not only any children or other dependents they may
have, but also members of their extended families.
(b) From 1850 to 1977, the statutory definition of marriage in
California was gender-neutral, containing no reference to "man" or
(c) In 1948, the California Supreme Court became the first state
court in the country to strike down a law prohibiting interracial
marriage. It was the only state supreme court to do so before the
United States Supreme Court invalidated all those laws in 1967. The
California Supreme Court held that "marriage is . . . something more
than a civil contract subject to regulation by the state; it is a
fundamental right of free men...Legislation infringing such rights
must be based upon more than prejudice and must be free from
oppressive discrimination to comply with the constitutional
requirements of due process and equal protection of the laws" (Perez
v. Sharp (1948) 32 Cal.2d 711, 714-15).
(d) In 1977, the Legislature amended the state's marriage law to
specify that, as a matter of state law, the gender-neutral definition
of marriage could permit same-sex couples to marry and have access
to equal rights and therefore would be changed. The gender-specific
definition of marriage that the Legislature adopted specifically
discriminated in favor of different-sex couples and, consequently,
discriminated and continues to discriminate against same-sex couples.
(e) The highest courts in three states have held that denying the
legal rights and obligations of marriage to same-sex couples is
constitutionally suspect or impermissible under their respective
state constitutions. These states are Hawaii, Vermont, and
Massachusetts. The highest courts in seven Canadian provinces have
similarly ruled that marriage laws that discriminate in favor of
different-sex couples to the exclusion of same-sex couples violate
the rights of same-sex couples and cannot stand.
(f) California's discriminatory exclusion of same-sex couples from
marriage violates the California Constitution's guarantee of due
process, privacy, equal protection of the law, and free expression by
arbitrarily denying equal marriage rights to lesbian, gay, and
(g) California's discriminatory exclusion of same-sex couples from
marriage harms same-sex couples and their families by denying those
couples and their families specific legal rights and responsibilities
under state law and by depriving members of those couples and their
families of a legal basis to challenge federal laws that deny access
to the many important federal benefits and obligations provided only
to spouses. Those federal benefits include the right to file joint
federal income tax returns, the right to sponsor a partner for
immigration to the United States, the right to social security
survivor's benefits, the right to family and medical leave, and many
other substantial benefits and obligations.
(h) Other jurisdictions have chosen to treat as valid or otherwise
recognize marriages between same-sex couples. California's
discriminatory marriage law therefore also harms California's
same-sex couples when they travel to other jurisdictions by
preventing them from having access to the rights, benefits, and
protections those jurisdictions provide only to married couples.
(i) California's discriminatory exclusion of same-sex couples from
marriage further harms same-sex couples and their families by
denying them the unique public recognition and affirmation that
marriage confers on heterosexual couples.
(j) The Legislature has an interest in encouraging stable
relationships regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the
partners. The benefits that accrue to the general community when
couples undertake the mutual obligations of marriage accrue
regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the partners.
(k) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to
end the pernicious practice of marriage discrimination in California.
This act is in no way intended to alter Section 308.5 of the Family
Code, which prohibits California from treating as valid or otherwise
recognizing marriages of same-sex couples solemnized outside of
SEC. 4. Section 300 of the Family Code
is amended to read:
(a) Marriage is a personal relation arising
out of a civil contract between a man and a woman
two persons , to which the consent of the parties capable
of making that contract is necessary. Consent alone does not
constitute marriage. Consent must be followed by the issuance of a
license and solemnization as authorized by this division, except as
provided by Section 425 and Part 4 (commencing with Section 500).
(b) Where necessary to implement the rights and responsibilities
of spouses under the law, gender-specific terms shall be construed to
be gender-neutral, except with respect to Section 308.5.
SEC. 5. Section 301 of the Family Code
is amended to read:
An Two unmarried male
persons of the age of 18 years or older,
and an unmarried female of the age of 18 years or older, and
who are not otherwise disqualified, are capable
of consenting to and consummating marriage.
SEC. 6. Section 302 of the Family Code
is amended to read:
An unmarried male or female person
under the age of 18 years is capable of consenting to and
consummating marriage if each of the following documents is filed
with the county clerk issuing the marriage license:
(a) The written consent of the parents of each underage person, or
of one of the parents or the guardian of each underage person.
(b) A court order granting permission to the underage person to
marry, obtained on the showing the court requires.
SEC. 7. Section 403 is added to the
Family Code , to read:
No priest, minister, or rabbi of any religious denomination, and
no official of any nonprofit religious institution authorized to
solemnize marriages, shall be required to solemnize any marriage in
violation of his or her right to free exercise of religion guaranteed
by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or by
Section 4 of Article I of the California Constitution.
The Legislature finds and declares that this act does not amend or
modify Section 308.5 of the Family Code, as enacted by an initiative
measure, to the extent that Section 308.5 addresses only marriages
from other jurisdictions. The Legislature further finds that
Sections 300 and 308.5 of the Family Code have been declared
unconstitutional by a state coordination trial judge appointed by the
Judicial Council, and the Legislature declares that the purpose of
this act is to correct the constitutional infirmities of Section 300,
which was enacted by the Legislature. The Legislature further finds
that the constitutional infirmities of Section 308.5 of the Family
Code, which was enacted through the initiative process, cannot be
corrected by the Legislature and that the California Supreme Court is
the governmental body that has authority to make a final
determination regarding the meaning, validity, or invalidity of
If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act
contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies
and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part
7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the
SECTION 1. Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 7059.5) is added
to Part 1.7 of Division 6 of the Fish and Game Code, to read:
CHAPTER 2.5 Marine Fisheries and Ocean Ecosystem Research
The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Research, including ongoing data collection and periodic
resource assessments, is essential to the foundation of understanding
necessary for the conservation, use, and management of the state's
ocean waters and the marine resources therein.
(b) Working fishing men and women and other mariners possess
special knowledge of ocean waters and resources that should be
utilized by marine scientists, fishery biologists, and resource
managers in helping to create a full understanding of ocean
(c) The knowledge of fishing men and women has been tapped and
utilized through cooperative research programs in New England and
elsewhere that have proven invaluable in enhancing the understanding
of ocean ecosystems and marine living resources.
(d) The state should develop a formal and ongoing program to
utilize the knowledge of fishing men and women, including the
utilization of collaborative ocean and fishery research projects with
marine scientists and the utilization of fishing craft, whenever
practical, as platforms for ocean and marine fishery research.
It is the policy of the state to facilitate collaboration between
fishing men and women and scientists and researchers employed by or
contracted to the department in conducting ocean and marine fisheries
research, including, but not limited to, the utilization of the
knowledge of fishing men and women, their employment in fish stock
surveys, data collection, and deployment of scientific equipment, and
the utilization of fishing vessels, whenever practical, to serve as
platforms for ocean and marine resources research.
Below is the legislative analysis that accompanied the bill:
CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
AB 849 (Leno)
As Amended June 28, 2005
SUMMARY : Seeks to end the state's denial of marriage licenses
to same-sex couples in California. Specifically, this bill :
1)Eliminates the current "different-gender" requirement in the
state's definition of marriage.
2)Clarifies that gender-specific terms in the state's family
laws shall be construed to be gender-neutral, except in
regards to Family Code Section 308.5, concerning recognition
of marriages contracted in other jurisdictions (Proposition 22
3)Adds Section 403 to the Family Code to declare that no
religious official shall be required to perform or solemnize
any marriage in violation of his or her religious conviction.
4)Includes findings that Family Code Sections 300 and 308.5 have
been declared unconstitutional in coordinated state-court
proceedings and that the bill does not amend Family Code
Section 308.5 to the extent that Section 308.5 addresses only
marriages from other jurisdictions.
5)Acknowledges the authority of the California Supreme Court to
make a final judicial determination regarding Section 308.5's
meaning, and validity or invalidity.
The Senate amendments delete the Assembly version of this bill
and insert the provisions summarized above.
1)Provides that "Marriage is a personal relation arising out of
a civil contract between a man and a woman, to which the
consent of the parties capable of making that contract is
necessary." (Family Code Section 300. All further references
are to this code unless otherwise noted.)
2)Provides that "A marriage contracted outside this state that
would be valid by the laws of the jurisdiction in which the
marriage was contracted is valid in this state." (Family Code
3)Provides, immediately following Section 308 that "Only
marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in
California." (Family Code Section 308.5.)
4)Provides, in the state's Equal Protection Clause, in Article
I, Section 7, that:
(a) "A person may not be deprived of life, liberty, or
property without due process of law or denied equal
protection of the laws. . . " and (b) "A citizen or class of
citizens may not be granted privileges or immunities not
granted on the same terms to all citizens."
AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY , this bill dealt with fish and game.
FISCAL EFFECT : According to the Senate Appropriations analysis,
the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) in 2004 estimated a state personal
income tax revenue loss of about $1 million for every 4,900
same-sex couples whose filing status would change. These
couples would have a change in state filing status to married
filing joint or married filing separate. The 2000 census
identified 92,138 same-sex couples living in California (as of
May 1, 2005, there were 27,300 registered domestic partnerships
in California, the majority of which are same-sex couples). In
less than a month last year, over 4,000 same-sex couples were
married in San Francisco. Assuming one-half of the existing
registered domestic partners marry within the first year,
revenue loss for fiscal year 2006-07 and each year thereafter
would be $3 million. The actual number of marriages could be
significantly greater. The 2000 census also found that 92% of
cohabitating heterosexual couples were married. If a similar
pattern occurred with same sex couples, actual losses probably
would be significantly greater. In addition, there would be a
minor revenue increases from marriage license fees and
unquantifiable increased economic activity surrounding more
weddings in the state.
Offsetting savings could occur from reduced eligibility for
Medi-Cal and SSI/SSP, but these savings would accrue only if
federal law changes or eligibility waivers were granted.
COMMENTS : This legislation seeks to halt the state's practice
of denying same-sex couples the right to marry by defining
marriage as between "two persons" instead of solely between a
man and a woman. The bill thus raises important questions of
law and public policy that are now being discussed across the
nation and around the world, reflecting one of this nation's
most significant civil rights issues for the 21st century.
The issue of legal recognition of same-sex couples in
California dates back two decades. Before the 1980s, same-sex
couples had no legal recognition in California - or virtually
anywhere else. As families, same-sex couples were essentially
invisible to the law. In 1984, however, the City of Berkeley
extended employee benefits to the same-sex partners of
municipal employees, and in 1985 West Hollywood became the
first governmental entity to offer legal recognition to
same-sex couples among the general public by establishing a
legal status called "domestic partnership." By 2000, 18
California local governments had established domestic
California took notice of this emerging movement. In 1999, the
Legislature enacted AB 26 (Migden) to create the state's first
domestic partnership statute. This statute, which forms the
backbone of California's domestic partnership law, provided for
domestic partnerships to be registered with the Secretary of
State, for public employers to offer health benefits to domestic
partners, and for domestic partners to have hospital visitation
rights. The most comprehensive set of rights and
responsibilities for registered domestic partners was enacted in
2003 by AB 205 (Goldberg). That bill became fully operative
this past January 1, 2005, and it has been upheld by the courts
against challengers' arguments that granting legal protections
to same-sex couples is inconsistent with Proposition 22. Even
so, the domestic partner laws do not provide many rights
possessed under our marriage laws. For example, they preclude
joint filing of income taxes, fail to treat earned income as
community property for state income tax purposes, and deny
access to certain long-term care benefits. In addition,
domestic partners are denied the protections available under
more than 1,100 federal statutes relating to marriage. The
federal benefits afforded to opposite-sex, married couples
include such basic benefits as social security, Medicare,
federal housing assistance, food stamps, veterans' benefits,
military benefits, tax benefits and federal employment benefits.
In 1996 Congress passed, and President Clinton signed, the
federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which among other things
says that no state is required under federal law to give effect
to same-sex marriages contracted in other states. In light of
the federal DOMA, other states have also enacted measures
prohibiting recognition of marriages entered into by same-sex
couples in other jurisdictions. Some states have gone so far as
to enact into their constitutions provisions that purport to
prohibit recognition of relationships between same-sex couples
other than marriage, such as domestic partnerships or civil
In 2000, a group of citizens led by the late state senator Pete
Knight placed Proposition 22 on the March 2000 ballot to
prohibit California from recognizing any same-sex marriages
contracted in other states or countries. The measure passed
with 61% of the vote and became codified as Family Code Section
308.5. However, a superior court judge has recently entered a
judgment declaring Proposition 22 invalid under the state
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in November 2003 and
February 2004 ruled the Massachusetts definition of marriage
violated that state's constitutional equal protection
provisions. In response to this advisory opinion, the state
legalized same-sex marriage and began issuing marriage licenses
to same-sex couples on May 17, 2004.
In February 2004, the City and County of San Francisco began
issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. On August 12,
2004, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that San
Francisco officials exceeded their authority in issuing the
licenses because it is the role of the courts, not local
officials, to determine the constitutionality of the state's
marriage laws. By a 5-2 vote, the court also invalidated the
4,037 marriages that had taken place in San Francisco. The
court did not rule on the constitutionality of the state's
statutory prohibition of marriage by same-sex couples. Rather,
an order filed by the Court in March 2004 expressly invited the
filing of a lawsuit in superior court to address this very
Then, just this past March 14, 2005, the San Francisco Superior
Court concluded that same-sex couples are denied equal
protection by marriage laws that prohibit them from marrying.
The trial court held that California's exclusion of same-sex
couples from marriage constitutes discrimination on the basis of
gender and interferes with the fundamental right to marry the
person of one's choosing.
A major legal question presented by this legislation is whether
it conflicts with Proposition 22. The answer to this question
depends upon how broadly the proposition is read. Under a more
narrow reading, Proposition 22 applies only to marriages
contracted out of state-that is, it simply prevents California
from recognizing marriages between same-sex couples entered into
outside California. Under a more broad reading, Proposition 22
prohibits marriages between same-sex couples whether performed
inside or outside of the state. Regardless of Proposition 22's
reach, Family Code Sections 300 and 308.5 raise critical
constitutional questions. Indeed, the superior court in San
Francisco in the coordinated marriage cases has recently
declared both statutes unconstitutional. Three points were
important to the court's constitutional analysis. First, the
history of California's definition of marriage clearly shows an
explicit intent to discriminate against lesbians and gay men and
to exclude same-sex couples from marriage. Second, there are
two landmark rulings from the California Supreme Court that bear
directly on the question of the constitutionality of a
definition that excludes same-sex couples, and suggest that
California's current statute banning same-sex marriage may
likely be struck down if the issue is heard by the State Supreme
Court. And third, there is an undeniably strong trend in
rulings from other state supreme courts, and from the U.S.
Supreme Court itself, suggesting that the statute likely could
not, and ultimately will not, withstand constitutional scrutiny.
The California Constitution contains two independent equal
protection provisions. For nearly three decades, the California
courts have held that the equal protection clause protects gay
and lesbian persons. In the landmark decision of Gay Law
Students v. Pacific Telephone and Telegraph (1977), the
California Supreme Court expressly held that subdivision (a) of
Article I, section 7 guarantees lesbians and gay men, as a
class, equal protection.
In 1948, California's Supreme Court was the first in the nation
to hold that a law prohibiting persons from marrying outside
their race violated the constitution. Perez v. Lippold (1948)
preceded the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Loving v. Virginia
(1967) on the same question by nearly 20 years. Given the
fundamental nature of the right to marry, the Court held that
any infringement of that right "must be based upon more than
prejudice and must be free from oppressive discrimination to
comply with the constitutional requirements of due process and
equal protection of the laws." More, importantly the Court held
that while the state has authority to prohibit marriage between
specific individuals when there is a legitimate state concern,
such legislation would have to be specific to the individuals in
question, and could not use "arbitrary classifications of groups
or races" as a substitute. (Emphasis added.)
Three state supreme courts have addressed the question of
whether a state law that defines marriage so as to exclude same
sex partners violates their respective state constitutions.
Importantly, in each case, the court has ruled in favor of the
Finally, two cases from the U.S. Supreme Court decided by 6-3
majorities, have recently addressed issues relevant to the
pending bill. In Romer v. Evans (1996) the Court overturned
Colorado's Amendment 2, which would have amended the Colorado
Constitution to exclude lesbians and gay men from obtaining
legal protection. More recently, in Lawrence v. Texas (2003),
the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a state homosexual sodomy law
on the ground that the "liberty" protected by the Fourteenth
Amendment includes private, consensual adult sexual relations.
The Court did not need to decide whether gay men and lesbians
have a constitutional right to marry, and the Court expressly
left that question open. So far, no state high court has found
adequate justification under state law for treating homosexual
couples differently than heterosexual couples in defining
marriage, even under a constitutionally lenient "rational basis"
test. This appears to be where California's courts ultimately
may arrive, as the trial court opinion in the coordinated
marriage cases demonstrates.
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