Wednesday, June 04, 2008

California High Court Clears Way for Same-Sex Marriages to Start June 17

By Howard Mintz
Mercury News

Article Launched: 06/04/2008 09:22:47 AM PDT

The California Supreme Court today rejected a bid to freeze last month's ruling legalizing gay marriage, paving the way for same-sex couples to begin walking down the aisle as soon as June 17.

Moving swiftly to remove legal uncertainty, the court turned away a request from gay marriage foes to stay the ruling until after the November election, when voters will consider a ballot measure that would change the state Constitution to again outlaw same-sex weddings. The secretary of state earlier this week qualified the initiative for the November ballot.

The justices were divided 4-3 on whether to rehear their earlier decision, the same split that unfolded when the gay marriage case was decided in May. Conservative organizations, joined by 11 other states, asked the court to reopen the case, a move opposed by civil rights groups, San Francisco city officials and Attorney General Jerry Brown.

The Supreme Court found California's ban on same-sex weddings unconstitutional in a 4-3 ruling that reverberated across the country. Since that time, state officials have created new marriage licenses and announced that they would be prepared to handle gay marriages on June 17, the day after the Supreme Court's ruling becomes final.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera applauded the court's move, saying it would have "politicized our judiciary" if the justices had put the ruling on hold until the election. And civil rights lawyers said gay couples were now poised to take advantage of their newfound legal rights.

"Lesbian and gay couples in California will be able to marry on an equal basis starting on June 17," said Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. "Every day, public support for the freedom to marry is growing."

You can read the rest of this story by clicking the link above, turning on the television, radio, reading the newspaper, or pretty much any place else. The opponents of equality wanted to be heard, well now they have been. Looks like America is finally coming to terms with the fact that all citizens are equal no matter their differences. Hopefully other minority groups will start stepping up to their responsibilities to fight discrimination of all forms, not just their own.

As a unified nation we are a force to be reckoned with, and greater still is the contribution we can give to the world. Eight years of selfishness and division has taken it's toll on our allies, the time to heal old wounds and mend fences will soon be at hand.