in light of the conclusions we reach concerning the constitutional questions brought to us for resolution, we determine that the language of section 300 limiting the designation of marriage to a union “between a man and a woman” is unconstitutional and must be stricken from the statute, and that the remaining statutory language must be understood as making the designation of marriage available both to opposite-sex and same-sex couples.In addition, because the limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples imposed by section 308.5 can have no constitutionally permissible effect in light of the constitutional conclusions set forth in this opinion, that provision cannot stand.
The Court goes on to say: "
Plaintiffs are entitled to the issuance of a writ of mandate directing the appropriate state officials to take all actions necessary to effectuate our ruling in this case so as to ensure that county clerks and other local officials throughout the state, in performing their duty to enforce the marriage statutes in their jurisdictions, apply those provisions in a manner consistent with the decision of this court.
Hmmm, "appropriate state official"? Who might that be? Oh yeah, Mark Leno!
And a nice little touch concludes the directive: "Further, as the prevailing parties, plaintiffs are entitled to their costs." Ha!! Take that bigots!
Justices Baxtar, Corrigan, and Chin dissented. All of them, however, wrote that they believe that same sex marriages should be recognized. However, they do not believe that the Constitution mandates such recognition.
The Court holds that "Seperate but Equal" is not permissive in this context for three reasons:
because of the long and celebrated history of the term “marriage” and the widespread understanding that this term describes a union unreservedly approved and favored by the community, there clearly is a considerable and undeniable symbolic importance to this designation.
particularly in light of the historic disparagement of and discrimination against gay persons, there is a very significant risk that retaining a distinction in nomenclature with regard to this most fundamental of relationships whereby the term “marriage” is denied only to same-sex couples inevitably will cause the new parallel institution that has been made available to those couples to be viewed as of a lesser stature than marriage and, in effect, as a mark of second-class citizenship.
it also is significant that although the meaning of the term “marriage” is well understood by the public generally, the status of domestic partnership is not.While it is true that this circumstance may change over time, it is difficult to deny that the unfamiliarity of the term “domestic partnership” is likely, for a considerable period of time, to pose significant difficulties and complications for same-sex couples, and perhaps most poignantly for their children, that would not be presented if, like opposite-sex couples, same-sex couples were permitted access to the established and well-understood family relationship of marriage.