Supreme Court of California Justia
Citation 43 Cal. 4th 757, 183 P.3d 384, 76 Cal. Rptr. 3d 683

In re Marriage Cases

Filed 5/15/08



IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA





)


S147999

In re MARRIAGE CASES.

Ct.App. 1/3 Nos. A110449,

A110450,

A110451, A110463,

[Six consolidated appeals.]1 )

A110651,

A110652

)
)

San

Francisco

County

JCCP No. 4365



In Lockyer v. City and County of San Francisco (2004) 33 Cal.4th 1055

(Lockyer), this court concluded that public officials of the City and County of San

Francisco acted unlawfully by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the

absence of a judicial determination that the California statutes limiting marriage to

a union between a man and a woman are unconstitutional. Our decision in

Lockyer emphasized, however, that the substantive question of the constitutional


1

City and County of San Francisco v. State of California (A110449 [Super.

Ct. S.F. City & County, No. CGC-04-429539]); Tyler v. State of California
(A110450 [Super. Ct. L.A. County, No. BS-088506]); Woo v. Lockyer (A110451
[Super. Ct. S.F. City & County, No. CPF-04-504038]); Clinton v. State of
California
(A110463 [Super. Ct. S.F. City & County, No. CGC-04-429548]);
Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund v. City and County of San
Francisco
(A110651 [Super. Ct. S.F. City & County, No. CPF-04-503943]);
Campaign for California Families v. Newsom (A110652 [Super. Ct. S.F. City &
County, No. CGC-04-428794]).

1


validity of the California marriage statutes was not before this court in that

proceeding, and that our decision was not intended to reflect any view on that

issue. (Id. at p. 1069; see also id. at p. 1125 (conc. opn. of Moreno, J.); id. at

pp. 1132-1133 (conc. & dis. opn. of Kennard, J.); id. at p. 1133 (conc. & dis. opn.

of Werdegar, J.).) The present proceeding, involving the consolidated appeal of

six cases that were litigated in the superior court and the Court of Appeal in the

wake of this court’s decision in Lockyer, squarely presents the substantive

constitutional question that was not addressed in Lockyer.

In considering this question, we note at the outset that the constitutional

issue before us differs in a significant respect from the constitutional issue that has

been addressed by a number of other state supreme courts and intermediate

appellate courts that recently have had occasion, in interpreting the applicable

provisions of their respective state constitutions, to determine the validity of

statutory provisions or common law rules limiting marriage to a union of a man

and a woman. (See, e.g., Conaway v. Deane (Md. 2007) 932 A.2d 571;

Goodridge v. Dept. of Pub. Health (Mass. 2003) 798 N.E.2d 941; Lewis v. Harris

(N.J. 2006) 908 A.2d 196; Hernandez v. Robles (N.Y. 2006) 855 N.E.2d 1; Baker

v. State (Vt. 1999) 744 A.2d 864; Andersen v. King County (Wn. 2006) 138 P.3d

963; Standhardt v. Superior Court (Ariz.Ct.App. 2003) 77 P.3d 451; Morrison v.

Sadler (Ind.Ct.App. 2005) 821 N.E.2d 15.) These courts, often by a one-vote

margin (see, post, pp. 114-115, fn. 70), have ruled upon the validity of statutory

schemes that contrast with that of California, which in recent years has enacted

comprehensive domestic partnership legislation under which a same-sex couple

may enter into a legal relationship that affords the couple virtually all of the same

substantive legal benefits and privileges, and imposes upon the couple virtually all

2

of the same legal obligations and duties, that California law affords to and imposes

upon a married couple.2 Past California cases explain that the constitutional

validity of a challenged statute or statutes must be evaluated by taking into

consideration all of the relevant statutory provisions that bear upon how the state

treats the affected persons with regard to the subject at issue. (See, e.g., Brown v.

Merlo (1973) 8 Cal.3d 855, 862.) Accordingly, the legal issue we must resolve is

not whether it would be constitutionally permissible under the California

Constitution for the state to limit marriage only to opposite-sex couples while

denying same-sex couples any opportunity to enter into an official relationship

with all or virtually all of the same substantive attributes, but rather whether our


2

We note that although much of the academic literature discussing the legal

recognition of same-sex relationships frequently uses the term “domestic
partnership” to describe a legal status that accords only comparatively few legal
rights or obligations to same-sex couples, the current California statutes grant same-
sex couples who choose to become domestic partners virtually all of the legal rights
and responsibilities accorded married couples under California law. (The few
relatively minor differences that remain are described below (post, pp. 42-44, fn.
24).) In light of the comprehensive nature of the rights afforded by California’s
domestic partnership legislation, the status of such partnership in California is
comparable to the status designated as a “civil union” in statutes enacted in recent
years in Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Vermont. (See, e.g., Conn.
Gen. Stat. § 46b-38nn (2006); N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 457-A (2007); N.J. Stat. Ann.
§ 37:1-29 (2006); 15 Vt. Stat. Ann. § 1201 (1999).) We note that recently Oregon
also enacted domestic partnership legislation under which same-sex couples may
obtain rights comparable to those conferred upon married couples (2007 Or. Laws
ch. 99.) The District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, and Washington have adopted
domestic partnership or reciprocal beneficiaries legislation that affords same-sex
couples the opportunity to obtain some of the benefits available to married
opposite-sex couples. (See 2006 D.C. Law 16-79 (Act 16-265) [Domestic
Partnership Equality Amendment Act of 2006]; Haw. Rev. Stat. § 572C-2; 2004
Me. Legis. Serv. ch. 672 (H.P. 1152; L.D. 1579) [financial security of families and
children]; 2001 Me. Legis. Serv. ch. 347 (H.P. 1256; L.D. 1703) [access to health
insurance]; Wash. Rev. Code ch. 26.60.)

3

state Constitution prohibits the state from establishing a statutory scheme in which

both opposite-sex and same-sex couples are granted the right to enter into an

officially recognized family relationship that affords all of the significant legal

rights and obligations traditionally associated under state law with the institution

of marriage, but under which the union of an opposite-sex couple is officially

designated a “marriage” whereas the union of a same-sex couple is officially

designated a “domestic partnership.” The question we must address is whether,

under these circumstances, the failure to designate the official relationship of

same-sex couples as marriage violates the California Constitution.3

It also is important to understand at the outset that our task in this

proceeding is not to decide whether we believe, as a matter of policy, that the

officially recognized relationship of a same-sex couple should be designated a

3

The only out-of-state high court decision to address a comparable issue is the

decision in Opinions of the Justices to the Senate (Mass. 2004) 802 N.E.2d 565. In
that proceeding, brought under a provision of the Massachusetts Constitution that
permits a branch of the state legislature to seek an advisory opinion on an important
question of law, the Massachusetts Senate asked that state’s high court to render an
opinion as to the constitutionality of a then pending bill, introduced in response to
the court’s earlier decision in Goodridge v. Dept. of Pub. Health, supra, 798 N.E.2d
941, that proposed to establish the institution of “civil union” under which “spouses
in a civil union” would have all of the rights and responsibilities afforded by that
state’s marriage laws. In its decision in Opinions of the Justices to the Senate, the
Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, by a closely divided (four-to-three) vote,
declared that the proposed legislation would violate the equal protection and due
process clauses of the Massachusetts Constitution. (802 N.E.2d at pp. 569-572.)


A similar issue also is currently pending before the Connecticut Supreme

Court in Kerrigan v. Comm’r of Public Health (SC No. 17716, argued May 14,
2007). In Kerrigan, the court is expected to determine whether a Connecticut
statute that limits marriage to opposite-sex couples is unconstitutional under the
Connecticut Constitution, notwithstanding the existence of a recently enacted
Connecticut statute that permits same-sex couples to enter into a civil union — a
status that, under the applicable legislation, affords same-sex couples the same legal
benefits and obligations possessed by married couples under Connecticut law.

4

marriage rather than a domestic partnership (or some other term), but instead only

to determine whether the difference in the official names of the relationships

violates the California Constitution. We are aware, of course, that very strongly

held differences of opinion exist on the matter of policy, with those persons who

support the inclusion of same-sex unions within the definition of marriage

maintaining that it is unfair to same-sex couples and potentially detrimental to the

fiscal interests of the state and its economic institutions to reserve the designation

of marriage solely for opposite-sex couples, and others asserting that it is vitally

important to preserve the long-standing and traditional definition of marriage as a

union between a man and a woman, even as the state extends comparable rights

and responsibilities to committed same-sex couples. Whatever our views as

individuals with regard to this question as a matter of policy, we recognize as

judges and as a court our responsibility to limit our consideration of the question

to a determination of the constitutional validity of the current legislative

provisions.

As explained hereafter, the determination whether the current California

statutory scheme relating to marriage and to registered domestic partnership is

constitutionally valid implicates a number of distinct and significant issues under

the California Constitution.

First, we must determine the nature and scope of the “right to marry” — a

right that past cases establish as one of the fundamental constitutional rights

embodied in the California Constitution. Although, as an historical matter, civil

marriage and the rights associated with it traditionally have been afforded only to

opposite-sex couples, this court’s landmark decision 60 years ago in Perez v.

5

Sharp (1948) 32 Cal.2d 7114 — which found that California’s statutory provisions

prohibiting interracial marriages were inconsistent with the fundamental

constitutional right to marry, notwithstanding the circumstance that statutory

prohibitions on interracial marriage had existed since the founding of the state —

makes clear that history alone is not invariably an appropriate guide for

determining the meaning and scope of this fundamental constitutional guarantee.

The decision in Perez, although rendered by a deeply divided court, is a judicial

opinion whose legitimacy and constitutional soundness are by now universally

recognized.

As discussed below, upon review of the numerous California decisions that

have examined the underlying bases and significance of the constitutional right to

marry (and that illuminate why this right has been recognized as one of the basic,

inalienable civil rights guaranteed to an individual by the California Constitution),

we conclude that, under this state’s Constitution, the constitutionally based right to

marry properly must be understood to encompass the core set of basic substantive

legal rights and attributes traditionally associated with marriage that are so integral

to an individual’s liberty and personal autonomy that they may not be eliminated

or abrogated by the Legislature or by the electorate through the statutory initiative

process. These core substantive rights include, most fundamentally, the

opportunity of an individual to establish — with the person with whom the

individual has chosen to share his or her life — an officially recognized and

protected family possessing mutual rights and responsibilities and entitled to the


4

To avoid possible confusion, we note that the decision in Perez v. Sharp was

reported in the unofficial regional reporter as Perez v. Lippold (1948) 198 P.2d 17,
and judicial decisions in other states sometimes have referred to the decision by that
title. We shall refer to the decision under its correct official title of Perez v. Sharp.

6

same respect and dignity accorded a union traditionally designated as marriage.

As past cases establish, the substantive right of two adults who share a loving

relationship to join together to establish an officially recognized family of their

own — and, if the couple chooses, to raise children within that family —

constitutes a vitally important attribute of the fundamental interest in liberty and

personal autonomy that the California Constitution secures to all persons for the

benefit of both the individual and society.

Furthermore, 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. We therefore

conclude that in view of the substance and significance of the fundamental

constitutional right to form a family relationship, the California Constitution

properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians,

whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex

couples.5

In defending the constitutionality of the current statutory scheme, the

Attorney General of California maintains that even if the constitutional right to

marry under the California Constitution applies to same-sex couples as well as to

opposite-sex couples, this right should not be understood as requiring the


5

For convenience and economy of language, in this opinion we shall use the

term “gay,” with reference to an individual, to relate either to a lesbian or to a gay
man, and the term “gay couple” to refer to a couple consisting of either two women
or two men.

7

Legislature to designate a couple’s official family relationship by the term

“marriage,” as opposed to some other nomenclature. The Attorney General,

observing that fundamental constitutional rights generally are defined by

substance rather than by form, reasons that so long as the state affords a couple all

of the constitutionally protected substantive incidents of marriage, the state does

not violate the couple’s constitutional right to marry simply by assigning their

official relationship a name other than marriage. Because the Attorney General

maintains that California’s current domestic partnership legislation affords same-

sex couples all of the core substantive rights that plausibly may be guaranteed to

an individual or couple as elements of the fundamental state constitutional right to

marry, the Attorney General concludes that the current California statutory scheme

relating to marriage and domestic partnership does not violate the fundamental

constitutional right to marry embodied in the California Constitution.

We need not decide in this case whether the name “marriage” is invariably

a core element of the state constitutional right to marry so that the state would

violate a couple’s constitutional right even if — perhaps in order to emphasize and

clarify that this civil institution is distinct from the religious institution of

marriage — the state were to assign a name other than marriage as the official

designation of the formal family relationship for all couples. Under the current

statutes, the state has not revised the name of the official family relationship for all

couples, but rather has drawn a distinction between the name for the official

family relationship of opposite-sex couples (marriage) and that for same-sex

couples (domestic partnership). One of the core elements of the right to establish

an officially recognized family that is embodied in the California constitutional

right to marry is a couple’s right to have their family relationship accorded dignity

and respect equal to that accorded other officially recognized families, and

assigning a different designation for the family relationship of same-sex couples

8

while reserving the historic designation of “marriage” exclusively for opposite-sex

couples poses at least a serious risk of denying the family relationship of same-sex

couples such equal dignity and respect. We therefore conclude that although the

provisions of the current domestic partnership legislation afford same-sex couples

most of the substantive elements embodied in the constitutional right to marry, the

current California statutes nonetheless must be viewed as potentially impinging

upon a same-sex couple’s constitutional right to marry under the California

Constitution.

Furthermore, the circumstance that the current California statutes assign a

different name for the official family relationship of same-sex couples as

contrasted with the name for the official family relationship of opposite-sex

couples raises constitutional concerns not only under the state constitutional right

to marry, but also under the state constitutional equal protection clause. In

analyzing the validity of this differential treatment under the latter clause, we first

must determine which standard of review should be applied to the statutory

classification here at issue. Although in most instances the deferential “rational

basis” standard of review is applicable in determining whether different treatment

accorded by a statutory provision violates the state equal protection clause, a more

exacting and rigorous standard of review — “strict scrutiny” — is applied when

the distinction drawn by a statute rests upon a so-called “suspect classification” or

impinges upon a fundamental right. As we shall explain, although we do not agree

with the claim advanced by the parties challenging the validity of the current

statutory scheme6 that the applicable statutes properly should be viewed as an


6

As noted below (post, at pp. 12-14), four of the six actions in this

coordination proceeding were filed by parties (the City and County of San
Francisco and same-sex couples, and organizations supporting these parties) who

(footnote continued on next page)

9

instance of discrimination on the basis of the suspect characteristic of sex or

gender and should be subjected to strict scrutiny on that ground, we conclude that

strict scrutiny nonetheless is applicable here because (1) the statutes in question

properly must be understood as classifying or discriminating on the basis of sexual

orientation, a characteristic that we conclude represents — like gender, race, and

religion —a constitutionally suspect basis upon which to impose differential

treatment, and (2) the differential treatment at issue impinges upon a same-sex

couple’s fundamental interest in having their family relationship accorded the

same respect and dignity enjoyed by an opposite-sex couple.

Under the strict scrutiny standard, unlike the rational basis standard, in

order to demonstrate the constitutional validity of a challenged statutory

classification the state must establish (1) that the state interest intended to be

served by the differential treatment not only is a constitutionally legitimate

interest, but is a compelling state interest, and (2) that the differential treatment not

only is reasonably related to but is necessary to serve that compelling state

interest. Applying this standard to the statutory classification here at issue, we


(footnote continued from previous page)

challenge the constitutional validity of the current California marriage statutes, and
two of the actions were filed by parties (the Proposition 22 Legal Defense and
Education Fund (hereafter Fund or Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund) and the
Campaign for California Families (Campaign)) who maintain that the current
statutes are constitutional. For convenience and ease of reference, in this opinion
we shall refer collectively to the parties who are challenging the constitutionality of
the marriage statutes as plaintiffs. Because the various parties defending the
marriage statutes (the state, represented by the Attorney General, the Governor, the
Fund, and the Campaign) have advanced differing legal arguments in support of the
statutes, this opinion generally will refer to such parties individually. In those
instances in which the opinion refers to the parties defending the marriage statutes
collectively, those parties will be referred to as defendants.

10

conclude that the purpose underlying differential treatment of opposite-sex and

same-sex couples embodied in California’s current marriage statutes — the

interest in retaining the traditional and well-established definition of marriage —

cannot properly be viewed as a compelling state interest for purposes of the equal

protection clause, or as necessary to serve such an interest.

A number of factors lead us to this conclusion. First, the exclusion of

same-sex couples from the designation of marriage clearly is not necessary in

order to afford full protection to all of the rights and benefits that currently are

enjoyed by married opposite-sex couples; permitting same-sex couples access to

the designation of marriage will not deprive opposite-sex couples of any rights and

will not alter the legal framework of the institution of marriage, because same-sex

couples who choose to marry will be subject to the same obligations and duties

that currently are imposed on married opposite-sex couples. Second, retaining the

traditional definition of marriage and affording same-sex couples only a separate

and differently named family relationship will, as a realistic matter, impose

appreciable harm on same-sex couples and their children, because denying such

couples access to the familiar and highly favored designation of marriage is likely

to cast doubt on whether the official family relationship of same-sex couples

enjoys dignity equal to that of opposite-sex couples. Third, because of the

widespread disparagement that gay individuals historically have faced, it is all the

more probable that excluding same-sex couples from the legal institution of

marriage is likely to be viewed as reflecting an official view that their committed

relationships are of lesser stature than the comparable relationships of opposite-sex

couples. Finally, retaining the designation of marriage exclusively for opposite-

sex couples and providing only a separate and distinct designation for same-sex

couples may well have the effect of perpetuating a more general premise — now

emphatically rejected by this state — that gay individuals and same-sex couples

11

are in some respects “second-class citizens” who may, under the law, be treated

differently from, and less favorably than, heterosexual individuals or opposite-sex

couples. Under these circumstances, we cannot find that retention of the

traditional definition of marriage constitutes a compelling state interest.

Accordingly, we conclude that to the extent the current California statutory

provisions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples, these statutes are

unconstitutional.

I

On February 10, 2004, the Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco

(City) sent a letter to the county clerk, directing that official to determine what

changes should be made to the forms and documents used to apply for and issue

marriage licenses, so that licenses could be provided to couples without regard to

their gender or sexual orientation. In response, the county clerk designed revised

forms for the marriage license application and for the license and certificate of

marriage, and on February 12, 2004, the City began issuing marriage licenses to

same-sex couples.

The following day, two separate actions were filed in San Francisco

Superior Court seeking an immediate stay as well as writ relief, to prohibit the

City’s issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. (Proposition 22 Legal

Defense and Education Fund v. City and County of San Francisco (Super. Ct. S.F.

City & County, No. CPF-04-503943) (hereafter Proposition 22 Legal Defense

Fund); Thomasson v. Newsom (Super. Ct. S.F. City & County, No. CGC-04-

428794) (subsequently retitled as Campaign for California Families v. Newsom,

and hereafter referred to as Campaign).) As noted, the Proposition 22 Legal

Defense Fund and the Campaign actions are two of the six cases whose

consolidated appeals are before us in the present proceeding. (Ante, p. 1, fn. 1.)

12

After the superior court declined to grant an immediate stay in the

Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund and the Campaign actions and the City

continued to issue marriage licenses to, and solemnize and register marriages of,

numerous same-sex couples, the California Attorney General and a number of

taxpayers filed two separate petitions seeking to have this court issue an original

writ of mandate, asserting that the City’s actions were unlawful and warranted our

immediate intervention. (Lockyer v. City and County of San Francisco, S122923;

Lewis v. Alfaro, S122865.) On March 11, 2004, we issued an order to show cause

in those original writ proceedings, and, pending our determination of both matters,

directed City officials to enforce the existing marriage statutes and to refrain from

issuing marriage licenses not authorized by such provisions. In addition, our

March 11 order stayed all proceedings in the two cases then pending in San

Francisco Superior Court (the Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund and the

Campaign actions), but at the same time indicated that the stay did not preclude

the filing of a separate action in superior court raising a direct challenge to the

constitutionality of California’s current marriage statutes. (Lockyer, supra, 33

Cal.4th 1055, 1073-1074.)

Shortly after our March 11, 2004, order was issued, and while the

consolidated Lockyer cases still were pending in this court, the City filed a writ

petition and complaint for declaratory relief in superior court, seeking a

declaration that (1) Family Code section 308.5 — an initiative statute proposed by

Proposition 22 and enacted by the voters — does not apply to marriages

solemnized in the State of California, and that (2) in any event, all California

statutory provisions limiting marriage to unions between a man and a woman

violate the California Constitution. (City and County of San Francisco v. State of

California (Super. Ct. S.F. City & County, No. CGC-04-429539 (CCSF).)

Thereafter, two similar actions challenging the constitutionality of California’s

13

current marriage statutes were filed by a number of same-sex couples who

maintain either that they are involved in committed relationships but are not

permitted to marry in California, or that their out-of-state marriages are not

recognized under California law. Several statewide organizations representing

many thousands of same-sex couples joined as plaintiffs in these actions. (Woo v.

Lockyer (Super. Ct. S.F. City & County, No. CPF-04-504038) (Woo); Tyler v.

County of Los Angeles (Super. Ct. L.A. County, No. BS-088506) (Tyler).)

According to declarations filed in the trial court, the named same-sex

couples who are parties to these actions embody a diverse group of individuals

who range from 30 years of age to more than 80 years of age, who come from

various racial and ethnic backgrounds, and who are employed in (or have retired

from) a wide variety of occupations, including pharmacist, military serviceman,

teacher, hospital administrator, and transportation manager. Many of the couples

have been together for well over a decade and one couple, Phyllis Lyon and Del

Martin, who are in their eighties, have resided together as a couple for more than

50 years. Many of the couples are raising children together.

Subsequently, the CCSF, Woo, and Tyler actions, along with the previously

filed Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund and Campaign actions, were

coordinated, by order of a judge appointed by the Chair of the Judicial Council,

into a single proceeding entitled In re Marriage Cases (JCCP No. 4365, hereafter

referred to as the Marriage Cases). (Code Civ. Proc., § 404 et seq.) That

coordination proceeding was assigned to San Francisco Superior Court Judge

Richard A. Kramer. A sixth action (Clinton v. State of California (Super. Ct. S.F.

City & County, No. CGC-04-429548) (Clinton)), filed by a separate group of

same-sex couples who similarly challenged the constitutionality of the current

marriage statutes, later was added to the Marriage Cases coordination proceeding.

14

On August 12, 2004, while the Marriage Cases coordination proceeding

was pending in the superior court, our court rendered its decision in Lockyer,

supra, 33 Cal.4th 1055, concluding that the City officials had exceeded their

authority in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the absence of a

judicial determination that the statutory provisions limiting marriage to the union

of a man and a woman are unconstitutional, and further concluding that the

approximately 4,000 same-sex marriages performed in San Francisco prior to our

March 11, 2004, order were void and of no legal effect. In light of these

conclusions, we issued a writ of mandate compelling the City officials to comply

with the requirements and limitations of the current marriage statutes in

performing their duties under these statutes, and directing the officials to notify all

same-sex couples to whom the officials had issued marriage licenses or registered

marriage certificates that these same-sex marriages were void from their inception

and a legal nullity. (Lockyer, supra, 33 Cal.4th at p. 1120.) Although we

concluded in Lockyer that the City officials had acted unlawfully and that the

same-sex marriages they had authorized were void, as already noted our opinion

made clear that the substantive question of the constitutionality of California’s

statutory provisions limiting marriage to a man and a woman was not before us in

the Lockyer proceeding and that we were expressing no opinion on this issue. (Id.,

at p. 1069; see also id. at p. 1125 (conc. opn. of Moreno, J.); id. at pp. 1132-1133

(conc. & dis. opn. of Kennard, J.); id. at p. 1133 (conc. & dis. opn. of

Werdegar, J.).)

After the issuance of our decision in Lockyer, supra, 33 Cal.4th 1055, the

superior court in the coordination matter proceeded expeditiously to solicit

briefing and conduct a hearing on the validity, under the California Constitution,

of California’s statutes limiting marriage to a man and a woman. On April 13,

2005, the superior court issued its decision on this substantive constitutional

15

question. Although plaintiffs argued that the statutes limiting marriage to a union

of a man and a woman violated a number of provisions of the California

Constitution — including the fundamental right to marry protected by the due

process and privacy provisions of the California Constitution and the equal

protection clause of that Constitution —the superior court confined its decision to

the challenge that was based upon the equal protection clause. In analyzing the

equal protection claim, the superior court determined that the statutes limiting

marriage in California to opposite-sex couples properly must be evaluated under

the strict scrutiny equal protection standard, because those statutory enactments

rest upon a suspect classification (sex) and impinge upon a fundamental

constitutional right (the right to marry). The court considered the various state

interests and justifications proffered in support of those enactments, ultimately

concluding that the statutory limitation of marriage to the union of a man and a

woman not only does not satisfy the strict scrutiny standard, but also does not

meet the more deferential rational basis test because, in the superior court’s view,

the differential treatment mandated by the statute does not further any legitimate

state interest. In light of this conclusion, the court held that California’s current

marriage statutes are unconstitutional under the state Constitution insofar as they

limit marriage to opposite-sex couples. The superior court entered judgment in

favor of plaintiffs in each of the coordinated cases.

On appeal, the Court of Appeal, in a two-to-one decision, reversed the

superior court’s ruling on the substantive constitutional issue, disagreeing in a

number of significant respects with the lower court’s analysis of the equal

protection issue. (Maj. opn. of McGuiness, P.J., joined by Parrilli, J.) First, the

majority opinion in the Court of Appeal concluded the superior court erred in

finding that the statutory provisions at issue impinge upon the fundamental

constitutional right to marry, determining that this right properly should be

16

interpreted to encompass only the right to marry a person of the opposite sex and

that the constitutional right that plaintiffs actually sought to enforce is a right to

same-sex marriage — a right that the Court of Appeal majority found lacking in

any historical or precedential support. Second, the Court of Appeal majority

rejected the superior court’s conclusion that the California marriage statutes

discriminate on the suspect basis of sex and for this reason are subject to strict

scrutiny review, relying upon the circumstance that the statutes do not discriminate

against either men or women or treat either of the genders differently from the

other, but rather permit members of either gender to marry only a person of the

opposite gender. Third, although the Court of Appeal majority found that

California’s marriage statutes realistically must be viewed as providing differential

treatment on the basis of sexual orientation, the majority went on to hold that

sexual orientation does not constitute a suspect classification for purposes of the

state equal protection clause. The majority thus concluded that, contrary to the

superior court’s determination, the marriage statutes are not subject to strict

scrutiny review but rather must be evaluated only under the deferential rational

basis standard. Finally, applying that standard, the majority disagreed with the

superior court and found that the marriage statutes’ limitation of marriage to

opposite-sex couples survives rational basis review, reasoning that the state has a

legitimate interest in preserving the traditional definition of marriage and that the

statute’s classifications are rationally related to that interest. Accordingly, the

Court of Appeal majority concluded that the superior court erred in finding the

marriage statutes unconstitutional.

One of the appellate justices who joined the majority opinion also wrote a

concurring opinion, addressing what her opinion described as “more philosophical

questions presented by the challenging issues before us.” (Conc. opn. of Parrilli,

J.) The concurring justice observed that in her view, the domestic partnership

17

legislation “seems to recognize that at this stage, we do not know whether the state

must name and privilege same-sex unions in exactly the same way traditional

marriages are supported. The nuance at this moment in history is that the

institution (marriage) and emerging institution (same-sex partnerships) are distinct

and, we hope, equal. We hope they are equal because of the great consequences

attached to each. Childrearing and passing on culture and traditions are potential

consequences of each. To the degree that any committed relationship provides

love and security, encourages fidelity, and creates a supportive environment for

children it is entitled to respect. Whether it must be called the same, or supported

by the state as equal to the traditional model, only time and patient attention to the

models at issue will tell.” Agreeing with the majority opinion, the concurring

justice concluded that “[i]t is the legitimate business of the Legislature to attempt

to close the distance between the parallel institutions (marriage and same-sex

committed domestic partnerships) as they develop, and to address such concerns.”

The third appellate court justice dissented from the majority’s

determination that the marriage statutes do not violate the California Constitution.

(Conc. & dis. opn. of Kline, J.) The dissenting justice (1) disagreed with the

majority’s conclusion that the same-sex couples challenging the marriage statutes

are seeking recognition of a novel constitutional right to “same-sex marriage”

rather than simply the application of an established fundamental constitutional

right to marry a person of one’s choice, (2) explained why, in his view, sexual

orientation should be considered a suspect classification for purposes of equal

protection principles, and (3) finally concluded that the challenged statutory

restriction limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples “has no rational basis, let

alone a compelling justification.”

In light of the importance of the substantive constitutional issues presented,

we granted review.

18

II

Before beginning our discussion of the significant constitutional issues

presented by this case, we briefly address a much more limited procedural point

relating only to the Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund and the Campaign

proceedings — the two actions that were filed immediately after San Francisco

officials began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and that were stayed

by our court during the pendency of the Lockyer proceeding. The Court of Appeal

concluded that although these two cases presented justiciable actions when they

were initially filed, once this court issued its decision in Lockyer, supra, 33

Cal.4th 1055, these actions no longer presented justiciable controversies, because

this court’s decision in Lockyer effectively granted all of the relief to which the

parties in those actions were entitled (including the prohibition of any continued

illegal expenditure of public funds). Accordingly, the Court of Appeal determined

that the superior court erred in failing, at that juncture, to dismiss these two actions

as moot. Although the Fund and the Campaign take issue with the Court of

Appeal’s conclusion on this point, we agree with that determination.

In challenging this aspect of the Court of Appeal’s ruling, the Fund

maintains that notwithstanding this court’s decision in Lockyer, the superior court

properly could find that, because there is a continuing dispute between the Fund

and the City over the scope and constitutionality of Family Code section 308.5

(the initiative statute adopted by the voters’ approval of Proposition 22 in March

2000), the Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund action constitutes a permissible

vehicle by which under Code of Civil Procedure section 1060 the Fund can seek

and obtain a declaratory judgment against the City with regard to that legal

19

question.7 Past California decisions establish, however, that notwithstanding an

advocacy group’s strong political or ideological support of a statute or

ordinance — and its disagreement with those who question or challenge the

validity of the legislation — such a disagreement does not in itself afford the

group the right to intervene formally in an action challenging the validity of the

measure. (See, e.g., Socialist Workers etc. Committee v. Brown (1975) 53

Cal.App.3d 879, 891-892 [holding trial court did not err in rejecting Common

Cause’s request to intervene in action challenging statutes requiring disclosure of

campaign contributions]; People ex rel. Rominger v. County of Trinity (1983) 147

Cal.App.3d 655, 662 [rejecting Sierra Club’s claim that its strong interest in the

enforcement of county’s environmental laws was itself sufficient to afford it

standing to intervene in action challenging the validity of an ordinance prohibiting

the spraying of a specified chemical].) For similar reasons, we agree with the

Court of Appeal that, absent a showing by the Fund that it possesses a direct legal

interest that will be injured or adversely affected (which the Fund acknowledges

has not been established here),8 the Fund’s strong ideological disagreement with

the City’s views regarding the scope or constitutionality of Proposition 22 is not

sufficient to afford standing to the Fund to maintain a lawsuit to obtain a

7

Code of Civil Procedure section 1060 provides in relevant part that “[a]ny

person . . . may, in cases of actual controversy relating to the legal rights and
duties of the respective parties
, bring an original action . . . for a declaration of his
or her rights and duties in the premises . . . .” (Italics added.)

8

At an earlier stage of the action filed by the City (the CCSF action) — before

the coordination proceeding was established — the Fund filed a motion seeking to
intervene formally in the CCSF action, but the trial court denied the motion. The
Fund appealed from that ruling, but the Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court,
holding that the Fund and its members “do not . . . have a sufficiently direct and
immediate interest to support intervention.” (City and County of San Francisco v.
State of California
(2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 1030, 1038.)

20

declaratory judgment regarding these legal issues. (See, e.g., Newland v. Kizer

(1989) 209 Cal.App.3d 647, 657; Zetterberg v. State Dept. of Public Health (1974)

43 Cal.App.3d 657, 662-663.) In this respect, the Fund is in a position no different

from that of any other member of the public having a strong ideological or

philosophical disagreement with a legal position advanced by a public entity that,

through judicial compulsion or otherwise, continues to comply with a contested

measure.9

The Campaign argues alternatively that the superior court, in permitting

these two actions to go forward notwithstanding this court’s opinion in Lockyer,

properly could view that decision as providing only interim mandamus relief

against the City, leaving the question whether the City should be permanently

enjoined from granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples for resolution in the

Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund and the Campaign actions. Our decision in

Lockyer, however, does not support such an interpretation. We did not purport to

afford only interim relief, but rather granted to the petitioners before us the same

full and final mandamus relief to which the Fund and the Campaign would have

been entitled in the mandamus actions filed in superior court against City officials

by each of those parties. (Lockyer, supra, 33 Cal.4th at p. 1120.) Although our


9

The amicus curiae brief filed in this court by the Pacific Justice Institute

questions the right of the City to maintain a declaratory judgment action
challenging the validity of the state’s marriage statutes. That issue, however, was
not raised in either the trial court or the Court of Appeal, and its resolution would
not affect the validity of this proceeding or the substantive issue before us, because
the numerous same-sex couples who have been parties to this coordination action
from its inception unquestionably are authorized to bring and maintain the present
challenge to the marriage statutes. We therefore do not consider it necessary or
advisable for us to address, at the present juncture, this issue raised by amicus
curiae for the first time in these proceedings.

21

decision recognized that the constitutionality of the marriage statutes remained

open for judicial resolution in the future, we clearly indicated that the relief

ordered constituted a final resolution of the mandamus action rather than simply

an interim order. (Id. at p. 1112.) Thus, the decision of the superior court cannot

be supported on the basis of the interim-remedy theory advanced by the

Campaign.

Accordingly, on this initial procedural point, we agree with the Court of

Appeal’s conclusion that once this court’s decision in Lockyer granted the

mandamus relief sought by the Fund and the Campaign in their previously filed

lawsuits against the City and its officials, the superior court should have dismissed

those actions as moot.10

10

This conclusion, of course, does not mean that the superior court should

have denied these organizations the opportunity to participate in the coordination
proceeding as amici curiae. Although, as noted above (ante, at p. 20, fn. 8), the
Fund was denied the right to intervene formally in the CCSF action that thereafter
became part of this coordination proceeding (see City and County of San Francisco
v. State of California
, supra, 128 Cal.App.4th 1030), the Court of Appeal’s decision
in that matter made clear that the Fund preserved its ability to present its views
through amicus curiae status. (Id. at p. 1044.) Moreover, the superior court, in
exercising its traditional broad discretion over the conduct of pending litigation,
retained the authority to determine the manner and extent of these entities’
participation as amici curiae that would be of most assistance to the court. As we
observed in Bily v. Arthur Young & Co. (1992) 3 Cal.4th 370, 405, footnote 14:
“Amicus curiae presentations assist the court by broadening its perspective on the
issues raised by the parties. Among other services, they facilitate informed judicial
consideration of a wide variety of information and points of view that may bear on
important legal questions.”


In this regard we note that in the present proceeding, this court has received

45 extensively researched and well-written amicus curiae briefs, some of which
have been filed on behalf of many of California’s largest cities, numerous members
of the state Legislature, and scores of organizations, including a variety of
commercial, religious, and mental health groups, bar associations, and law
professors. The religious groups, like some of the others, are divided in their
support of the respective parties in this proceeding. The court has benefited from

(footnote continued on next page)

22

III

We now turn to the significant substantive constitutional issues before us.

We begin by examining the relevant California statutory provisions relating to

marriage and domestic partnership that lie at the heart of this controversy.

A

From the beginning of California statehood, the legal institution of civil

marriage11 has been understood to refer to a relationship between a man and a

woman. Article XI, section 14 of the California Constitution of 1849 —

California’s first Constitution — provided explicit constitutional protection for a

wife’s separate property” (italics added),12 and the marriage statute adopted by

the California Legislature during its first session clearly assumed that the marriage

relationship necessarily involved persons of the opposite sex. (See Stats. 1850, ch.

140, § 2, p. 424 [listing, as marriages that would be considered “incestuous, and

absolutely void,” marriages “between brothers and sisters of the one half as well as

the whole blood” and “between uncles and nieces, [or] aunts and nephews”; id.,

(footnote continued from previous page)

the considerable assistance provided by these amicus curiae briefs in analyzing the
significant issues presented by this case.

11

From the state’s inception, California law has treated the legal institution of

civil marriage as distinct from religious marriage. Article XI, section 12 of the
California Constitution of 1849 provided in this regard: “No contract of marriage, if
otherwise duly made, shall be invalidated by want of conformity to the
requirements of any religious sect.” This provision is now set forth, in identical
language, in Family Code section 420, subdivision (c).

12

Article XI, section 14 of the 1849 Constitution provided in full: “All

property, both real and personal, of the wife, owned or claimed by marriage, and
that acquired afterwards by gift, devise, or descent, shall be her separate property;
and laws shall be passed more clearly defining the rights of the wife, in relation as
well to her separate property, as to that held in common with her husband. Laws
shall also be passed providing for the registration of the wife’s separate property.”

23

§ 7, p. 424 [“No Judge . . . , or other person, shall join in marriage any male under

the age of twenty-one years, or female under the age of eighteen years, without the

consent of the parent or guardian”].)

California’s current marriage statutes derive in part from this state’s Civil

Code, enacted in 1872, which was based in large part upon Field’s New York

Draft Civil Code. As adopted in 1872, former section 55 of the Civil Code

provided that marriage is “a personal relation arising out of a civil contract, to

which the consent of the parties capable of making it is necessary,”13 and former

section 56 of that code, in turn, provided that “[a]ny unmarried male of the age of

eighteen years or upwards, and any unmarried female of the age of fifteen years or

upwards, and not otherwise disqualified, are capable of consenting to and

consummating marriage.” Although these statutory provisions did not expressly

state that marriage could be entered into only by a man and a woman, the statutes

clearly were intended to have that meaning and were so understood. (See 1 Ann.

Civ. Code (1st ed. 1872, Haymond & Burch, commrs. annotators) note foll. § 55,

p. 28.) Thus, this court’s decisions of that era declared that the marriage

relationship “is one ‘by which a man and woman reciprocally engage to live with

each other during their joint lives, and to discharge toward each other the duties


13

As enacted in 1872, former section 55 of the Civil Code further provided:

“Consent alone will not constitute marriage; it must be followed by solemnization,
or by a mutual assumption of marital rights, duties, or obligations.” (Italics
added.) In 1895, that statute was amended to delete the italicized language and to
add “authorized by this code,” so that the concluding clause of the statute read:
“[consent] must be followed by a solemnization authorized by this code.” (Stats.
1895, § 1, p. 121.) In Norman v. Thomson (1898) 121 Cal. 620, 627-629, this court
concluded that this statutory change operated to abolish common law marriage in
California and to require, for a valid marriage, that solemnization be performed as
authorized by the applicable California statutes. (See, e.g., Elden v. Sheldon (1988)
46 Cal.3d 267, 275.)

24

imposed by law on the relation of husband and wife’ ” (Mott v. Mott (1890) 82

Cal. 413, 416), and that the marriage contract is one “ ‘by which a man and

woman capable of entering into such a contract mutually engage with each other

to live their whole lives together in the state of union which ought to exist between

a husband and his wife.’ ” (Kilburn v. Kilburn (1891) 89 Cal. 46, 50.)

Although the California statutes governing marriage and family relations

have undergone very significant changes in a host of areas since the late 19th

century, the statutory designation of marriage as a relationship between a man and

a woman has remained unchanged.

In 1969, the Legislature adopted the Family Law Act (Stats. 1969,

ch. 1608, § 8, pp. 3314-3344) which, among other matters, substantially revised

the statutory provisions governing the dissolution of marriage, but retained and

recodified former sections 55 and 56 of the Civil Code as Civil Code

sections 4100 and 4101.14

In 1971, following the adoption of the 26th Amendment to the federal

Constitution, which lowered the voting age in federal elections to 18 years of age,

our state Legislature passed a bill lowering most statutory minimum ages in

California law to that age. (Stats. 1971, ch. 1748, § 1, p. 3736 [“Except for

[limited, specified exceptions], whenever, in any provision of law, the term ‘21

years of age’ or any similar phrase regarding such age appears, it shall be deemed

to mean ‘18 years of age’ ”].) As part of this legislation, the provisions of Civil

Code section 4101, subdivision (a), which previously had set the age of consent

14

In 1921, the age limits set forth in former section 56 of the Civil Code (18

years of age for males, 15 years of age for females) were revised upward to
authorize marriage by any unmarried male 21 years or older and any unmarried
female 18 years or older (Stats. 1921, ch. 233, § 1, pp. 333-334), and in 1969 these
higher age limits were carried over to Civil Code section 4101.

25

for marriage for men at 21 years of age and for women at 18 years of age, were

modified to provide a uniform age of consent of 18 years of age for both genders.

In revising the language of section 4101 to equalize the minimum age for men and

women, the 1971 legislation eliminated references to “male” and “female,” so that

section 4101, subdivision (a), as amended in 1971, stated simply that “[a]ny

unmarried person of the age of 18 years or upwards, and not otherwise

disqualified, is capable of consenting to and consummating marriage.” (Stats.

1971, ch. 1748, § 26, p. 3747.) There is no indication in the legislative history of

the 1971 enactment, however, that the change in section 4101 was intended to

authorize marriage of two persons of the same sex, and numerous other marriage

statutes, reflecting the long-standing understanding that marriage under California

law refers to a union between a man and a woman, remained unchanged. (See,

e.g., Civ. Code, former § 4213 (now Fam. Code, § 500) [when unmarried persons,

not minors, have been living together “as man and wife,” they may, without a

license, be married by any clergymember]; Civ. Code, former § 4400 (now Fam.

Code, § 2200) [“Marriages between . . . brothers and sisters . . . , . . . between

uncles and nieces or aunts and nephews, are incestuous, and void from the

beginning”]; Civ. Code, former § 4425 (now Fam. Code, § 2210) [a marriage is

voidable if “[e]ither party was of unsound mind, unless such party, after coming to

reason, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife”].)

In the mid-1970’s, several same-sex couples sought marriage licenses from

county clerks in a number of California counties, relying in part upon the 1971

change in the language of Civil Code section 4101, subdivision (a), noted above.

All of the county clerks who were approached by these same-sex couples denied

the applications, but in order to eliminate any uncertainty as to whether the then

existing California statutes authorized marriage between two persons of the same

sex, legislation was introduced in 1977 at the request of the County Clerks’

26

Association of California to amend the provisions of sections 4100 and 4101 to

clarify that the applicable California statutes authorized marriage only between a

man and a woman. (Stats. 1977, ch. 339, § 1, p. 1295, introduced as Assem. Bill

No. 607 (1977-1978 Reg. Sess.); see Sen. Com. on Judiciary, Analysis of Assem.

Bill No. 607 (1977-1978 Reg. Sess.) as amended May 23, 1977, p. 1; Governor’s

Legal Affairs Off., Enrolled Bill Rep. on Assem. Bill No. 607 (1977-1978 Reg.

Sess.) Aug. 18, 1977, p. 1.)

The 1977 legislation added the phrase “between a man and a woman” to the

first sentence of former section 4100, so that the sentence read: “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.”

The measure also revised the language of former section 4101 to reintroduce the

references to gender that had been eliminated in 1971. As we explained in

Lockyer, supra, 33 Cal.4th 1055, 1076, footnote 11: “The legislative history of the

[1977] measure makes its objective clear. (See Sen. Com. on Judiciary, Analysis

of Assem. Bill No. 607 (1977-1978 Reg. Sess.) as amended May 23, 1977, p. 1

[‘The purpose of the bill is to prohibit persons of the same sex from entering

lawful marriage’].)” In 1992, when the Family Code was enacted, the provisions

of former sections 4100 and 4101 of the Civil Code, as amended in 1977, were

reenacted without change as Family Code sections 300 and 301, respectively.

(Stats. 1992, ch. 162, § 10, p. 474.)

Accordingly, Family Code section 300 currently provides in relevant part:

“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

27

necessary.”15 In light of its language and legislative history, all parties before us

agree that section 300 limits marriages that lawfully may be performed in

California to marriages of opposite-sex couples.

There is no similar agreement between the parties, however, as to the

meaning and scope of a second provision of the Family Code — section 308.5 —

that also contains language limiting marriage to a union between a man and a

woman. Section 308.5, an initiative statute submitted to the voters of California as

Proposition 22 at the March 7, 2000, primary election and approved by the voters

at that election, provides in full: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is

valid or recognized in California.” Plaintiffs maintain that section 308.5 should

not be interpreted to apply to or to limit marriages entered into in California, but

instead to apply only to marriages entered into in another jurisdiction; plaintiffs

take the position that although this provision prohibits California from recognizing

out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples, it should not be interpreted to speak to

or control the question of the validity of marriages performed in California. The

Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund and the Campaign contest plaintiffs’ proposed

interpretation of section 308.5, maintaining that the statute properly must be

interpreted to apply to and to limit both out-of-state marriages and marriages

performed in California.


15

Family Code section 300, subdivision (a), provides in full: “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.
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).”


Hereafter, unless otherwise specified, all statutory references are to the

Family Code.

28

As already noted, it is clear that section 300 in itself limits marriages

performed in California to opposite-sex couples, but the proper interpretation of

section 308.5 nonetheless is quite significant because, unlike section 300, section

308.5 is an initiative statute — a measure that, under the provisions of article II,

section 10, subdivision (c) of the California Constitution, cannot be modified by

the Legislature without submitting the proposed modification to a vote of the

people.16 Accordingly, if section 308.5 applies to marriages performed in

California as well as to out-of-state marriages, any measure passed by the

Legislature that purports to authorize marriages of same-sex couples in California

would have to be submitted to and approved by the voters before it could become

effective.

Although the Court of Appeal thought it unnecessary to determine the

proper scope of section 308.5 in the present proceeding, in our view it is both

appropriate and prudent to address the meaning of that statute at this juncture, both

to ensure that our resolution of the constitutional issue before us is rendered with a

full and accurate understanding of the source of California’s current limitation of

marriage to a union between a man and a woman, and to eliminate any uncertainty

and confusion regarding the Legislature’s ability or inability to authorize the

marriage of same-sex couples in California without a confirming vote of the

electorate, as the Legislature recently has attempted to do.17


16

Article II, section 10, subdivision (c) provides in relevant part: “The

Legislature . . . may amend or repeal an initiative statute by another statute that
becomes effective only when approved by the electors unless the initiative statute
permits amendment or repeal without their approval.” Nothing in Proposition 22
permits amendment or repeal of section 308.5 without the voters’ approval.

17

In 2005 and 2007, the Legislature passed bills that would have amended

section 300 to permit marriage of same-sex couples and that purported not to
affect the provisions of section 308.5, which the legislation viewed as applicable

(footnote continued on next page)

29

For the reasons discussed below, we conclude that in light of both the

language and the purpose of section 308.5, this provision reasonably must be

interpreted to apply both to marriages performed in California and those

performed in other jurisdictions.

First, as already noted, section 308.5 provides in full: “Only marriage

between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” This statutory

language does not purport to limit the statute’s application to out-of-state

marriages or to draw any distinction between in-state and out-of-state marriages.

On the contrary, the language of the statute — at least on its face — suggests that

the statute was intended to apply not only to the recognition of out-of-state


(footnote continued from previous page)

only to marriages performed outside of California. (Assem. Bill No. 849 (2005-
2006 Reg. Sess.) §§ 3, subd. (k), 4; Assem. Bill No. 43 (2007-2008 Reg. Sess.)
§§ 3, subd. (m), 4.) The Governor vetoed both measures.


In returning the 2005 bill to the Assembly without his signature, the

Governor stated he believed that Proposition 22 required such legislation to be
submitted to a vote of the people — a condition that the 2005 bill did not fulfill —
and the Governor further noted that “[t]he ultimate issue regarding the
constitutionality of section 308.5 and its prohibition against same-sex marriage is
currently before the Court of Appeal in San Francisco and will likely be decided
by the Supreme Court. [¶] This bill simply adds confusion to a constitutional
issue. If the ban of same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, this bill is not
necessary. If the ban is constitutional, this bill is ineffective.” (Governor’s veto
message to Assem. on Assem. Bill No. 849 (Sept. 29, 2005) Recess J. No. 4
(2005-2006 Reg. Sess.) pp. 3737-3738.) Similarly, in returning the 2007 bill to
the Assembly without his signature, the Governor noted that a challenge to
Proposition 22 currently was pending before this court, and reiterated his position
“that the appropriate resolution to this issue is to allow the Court to rule on
Proposition 22.” (Governor’s veto message to Assem. on Assem. Bill No. 43
(Oct. 12, 2007) Recess J. No. 9 (2007-2008 Reg. Sess.) pp. 3497-3498.)


In light of this ongoing controversy, it is appropriate to resolve the question

of the scope of section 308.5 at this time.

30

marriages, but also to specify more broadly that only marriage between a man and

a woman is valid in California.

Although plaintiffs acknowledge the wording of section 308.5 could be

interpreted to apply to both in-state and out-of-state marriages, they maintain this

language is ambiguous when one takes into account the location of the provision

in the Family Code — its sequence in immediately following section 308, which

relates specifically to out-of-state marriages.18 Plaintiffs point out that section 308

employs the term “valid” with specific reference to out-of-state marriages, and

they maintain that, as a consequence, the use of the word “valid” (along with the

word “recognized”) in section 308.5 is not inconsistent with an interpretation of

the statute that limits its application to out-of-state marriages.

In view of the asserted ambiguity of the statute, plaintiffs urge this court to

consider the measure’s purpose as reflected in the initiative’s “legislative history.”

In this regard, plaintiffs maintain that the arguments relating to Proposition 22 set

forth in the voter information guide indicate that this initiative measure was

prompted by the proponents’ concern that other states and nations might authorize

marriages of same-sex couples, and by the proponents’ desire to ensure that

California would not recognize such marriages. (See Voter Information Guide,

Primary Elec. (Mar. 7, 2000) arguments in favor of and against Prop. 22, pp. 52-

53; see also Armijo v. Miles (2005) 127 Cal.App.4th 1405, 1422-1424.) Plaintiffs

assert that in light of this objective, and the circumstance that when Proposition 22

was submitted to the electorate the provisions of section 308.5 were not needed to

establish a limitation on marriages performed in California because section 300


18

Section 308 provides in full: “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.”

31

already specified that marriage in California is limited to opposite-sex couples,

section 308.5 should be interpreted to apply only to out-of-state marriages and not

to marriages solemnized in California.

Although we agree with plaintiffs that the principal motivating factor

underlying Proposition 22 appears to have been to ensure that California would

not recognize marriages of same-sex couples that might be validly entered into in

another jurisdiction, we conclude the statutory provision proposed by this

initiative measure and adopted by the voters — which, we note again, provides in

full that “[o]nly marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in

California” — cannot properly be interpreted to apply only to marriages

performed outside of California. Unlike section 308, section 308.5 itself contains

no language indicating that the statute is directed at and applies only to marriages

performed outside of California. Further, because section 308.5 states both that

only a marriage between a man and a woman is “recognized” in California and

also that only a marriage between a man and a woman is “valid” in California, the

average voter is likely to have understood the proposed statute to apply to

marriages performed in California as well as to out-of-state marriages.19


19

The City argues that in employing both the terms “valid” and “recognized,”

section 308.5 could be interpreted to mean that an out-of-state marriage involving a
same-sex couple not only will not be considered a “valid” marriage in California,
but that, in addition, an out-of-state marriage of a same-sex couple will not be
“recognized” in California in any capacity — even as, for example, a domestic
partnership. In our view, the interpretation proposed by the City is not a reasonable
interpretation of section 308.5’s language, because the statute contains no reference
to domestic partnership or to any comparable status and there is no indication that
the measure was intended to affect or restrict the recognition of such a status. (See
Knight v. Superior Court (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 14, 23-25.)

32

Nothing in the ballot materials or other background of the initiative

indicates that its proponents intended to limit its scope to out-of-state marriages of

same-sex couples and leave the California Legislature free to adopt a different rule

validating the marriages of same-sex couples in California. Indeed, in view of the

thrust of the measure as explained in the ballot arguments supporting the proposed

initiative and rebutting the argument against it, it would be unreasonable to

conclude that the measure was intended (and should be interpreted) to leave the

Legislature free to revise California law to authorize the marriage of same-sex

couples. (See Voter Information Guide, Primary Elec. (Mar. 7, 2000) argument in

favor of Prop. 22, p. 52 [“Proposition 22 is exactly 14 words long: ‘Only

marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.’ [¶]

That’s it! No legal doubletalk, no hidden agenda. Just common sense. Marriage

should be between a man and a woman. [¶] . . . [¶] It’s tough enough for families

to stay together these days. Why make it harder by telling children that marriage

is just a word anyone can re-define again and again until it no longer has any

meaning?” (original italics)]; id., rebuttal to argument against Prop. 22, p. 53

[“ Opponents say anybody supporting traditional marriage is guilty of extremism,

bigotry, hatred and discrimination towards gays, lesbians and their families. [¶]

That’s unfair and divisive nonsense. [¶] THE TRUTH IS, we respect

EVERYONE’S freedom to make lifestyle choices, but draw the line at re-defining

marriage for the rest of society. [¶] . . . [¶] . . . ‘YES’ on 22 sends a clear, positive

message to children that marriage between a man and a woman is a valuable and

respected institution, now and forever” (capitalization in original)].) Accordingly,

we agree with the conclusion of the Court of Appeal in Knight v. Superior Court,

supra, 128 Cal.App.4th 14, 23-24, that section 308.5 was intended to ensure “that

California will not legitimize or recognize same-sex marriages from other

33

jurisdictions . . . and that California will not permit same-sex partners to validly

marry within the state.” (Italics added.)20

Second, not only does this appear to be the most reasonable interpretation

of section 308.5 in light of the statute’s language and purpose, but serious

constitutional problems under the privileges and immunities clause and the full

faith and credit clause of the federal Constitution would be presented were section

308.5 to be interpreted as creating a distinct rule for out-of-state marriages as

contrasted with in-state marriages. Under plaintiffs’ proposed interpretation,

section 308.5 would prohibit the state from recognizing the marriages of same-sex

couples lawfully solemnized in other states without resubmitting the question to

the voters and obtaining a confirming vote of the electorate, but would permit the

state to recognize the validity of marriages of same-sex couples performed in

California by legislative action alone without a vote of the electorate, raising the

very real possibility that the state could approve the validity of marriages of same-


20

Proposition 22 was one of a number of similar measures (commonly

denominated “little DOMA’s” [defense of marriage acts]) that were proposed and
adopted in many states in the 1990’s and early 2000’s in the wake of the decision of
the Hawaii Supreme Court in Baehr v. Lewin (Haw. 1993) 852 P.2d 44 and of
Congress’ enactment of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (Pub. L. No. 104-199
(Sept. 21, 1996) 110 Stat. 2419, codified at 1 U.S.C. § 7, 28 U.S.C. § 1738C). (See
Duncan, Revisiting State Marriage Recognition Provisions (2005) 38 Creighton
L.Rev. 233, 237-238; see also Coolidge & Duncan, Definition or Discrimination:
State Marriage Recognition Statutes in the “Same-Sex Marriage” Debate
(1998)
32 Creighton L.Rev. 3.) Like Proposition 22, a number of these measures provided
that only a marriage between a man and a woman would be “valid” or “recognized”
in the adopting state, and a law review commentary on these measures concluded
that the use of the term “valid” (accompanying the term “recognized”) in these
measures was intended to signify that, with respect to marriages performed within
the enacting state, only marriages between opposite-sex couples would be
considered legally valid. (See Duncan, Revisiting State Marriage Recognition
Provisions
, supra, 38 Creighton L.Rev. 233, 261.)

34

sex couples that are performed in California while continuing to deny recognition

to marriages of same-sex couples that are lawfully performed in another state.

(See, ante, at pp. 29-30, fn. 17.) Imposing such discriminatory treatment against

out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples, as contrasted with marriages of same-

sex couples performed within the state, would be difficult to square with

governing federal constitutional precedents. (See, e.g., Hicklin v. Orbeck (1978)
437 U.S. 518, 523-526; Toomer v. Witsell (1948) 334 U.S. 385, 398-399.)

Accordingly, it is appropriate to interpret the limitations imposed by section 308.5

as applicable to marriages performed in California as well as to out-of-state

marriages, in order to avoid the serious federal constitutional questions that would

be posed by a contrary interpretation. (Accord, NBC Subsidiary (KNBC-TV), Inc.

v. Superior Court (1999) 20 Cal.4th 1178, 1216.)21

21

Plaintiffs contend that because section 308.5 currently does not prescribe a

rule for out-of-state marriages different from the rule California applies to in-state
marriages, no constitutional problems are presented even if the statute is interpreted
to apply only to out-of-state marriages, and that it is improper, in interpreting the
statute, to rely upon potential constitutional problems that would arise only in the
event the state in the future were to adopt a different rule for in-state marriages. As
explained above, however, because section 308.5 is an initiative statute, under
plaintiffs’ proposed interpretation of section 308.5 California law, at the present
time, would make it more difficult to obtain recognition of out-of-state marriages of
same-sex couples than to obtain recognition of in-state marriages of such couples.
Moreover, in assessing the merits of alternative interpretations of a statutory
provision, it is appropriate to consider the potential constitutional problems that
would be posed by each alternative construction of the statute, and to favor an
interpretation that avoids such problems. (See, e.g., People v. Superior Court
(Romero) (1996) 13 Cal.4th 497, 509 [“ ‘If a statute is susceptible of two
constructions, one of which will render it constitutional and the other
unconstitutional in whole or in part, or raise serious and doubtful constitutional
questions, the court will adopt the construction which, without doing violence to the
reasonable meaning of the language used, will render it valid in its entirety, or free
from doubt as to its constitutionality, even though the other construction is equally
reasonable’ ”].)

35

In sum, we conclude that California’s current statutory restriction of

marriage to a couple consisting of a man and a woman rests upon the provisions of

both section 300 and section 308.5. Plaintiffs’ constitutional challenge thus must

be viewed as relating to the limitation embodied in each of these statutory

provisions.

B

Although California statutes always have limited and continue to limit

marriage to opposite-sex couples, as noted at the outset of this opinion California

recently has enacted comprehensive domestic partnership legislation that affords

same-sex couples the opportunity, by entering into a domestic partnership, to

obtain virtually all of the legal benefits, privileges, responsibilities, and duties that

California law affords to and imposes upon married couples. The recent

comprehensive domestic partnership legislation constitutes the culmination of a

gradual expansion of rights that have been made available in this state to same-sex

couples who choose to register as domestic partners. We briefly review the

history of domestic partnership legislation in California.

In 1999, the Legislature enacted the initial legislation creating a statewide

domestic partnership registry. (Stats. 1999, ch. 588, § 2 [adding Fam. Code,

§§ 297-299.6].) In adopting this legislation, “California became one of the first

states to allow cohabitating adults of the same sex to establish a ‘domestic

partnership’ in lieu of the right to marry.” (Holguin v. Flores (2004) 122

Cal.App.4th 428, 433.) The 1999 legislation defined “domestic partners” as “two

adults who have chosen to share one another’s lives in an intimate and committed

relationship of mutual caring.” (§ 297, subd. (a).) In addition to other

requirements for registration as domestic partners, the legislation provided that a

couple must share a common residence and agree to be jointly responsible for each

other’s basic living expenses incurred during the domestic partnership, be at least

36

18 years of age and unrelated by blood in a way that would prevent them from

being married to each other, not be married or a member of another domestic

partnership, and either be persons of the same sex or at least one of the persons

must be more than 62 years of age. (§ 297, subd. (b).) The 1999 legislation,

however, afforded those couples who register as domestic partners only limited

substantive benefits, granting domestic partners specified hospital visitation

privileges (Stats. 1999, ch. 588, § 4 [adding Health & Saf. Code, § 1261]), and

authorizing the state to provide health benefits to the domestic partners of some

state employees (Stats. 1999, ch. 588, § 3 [adding Gov. Code, §§ 22867-22877]).

The following year, the Legislature included domestic partners within the category

of persons granted access to specially designed housing reserved for senior

citizens. (Stats. 2000, ch. 1004, §§ 3, 3.5 [amending Civ. Code, § 51.3].)

In 2001, the Legislature expanded the scope of the benefits afforded to

couples who register as domestic partners, providing a number of additional

significant rights, including the right to sue for wrongful death, to use employee

sick leave to care for an ill partner or an ill child of one’s partner, to make medical

decisions on behalf of an incapacitated partner, to receive unemployment benefits

if forced to relocate because of a partner’s job, and to employ stepparent adoption

procedures to adopt a partner’s child. (Stats. 2001, ch. 893, §§ 1-60.) In 2002, the

Legislature equalized the treatment of registered domestic partners and married

spouses in a few additional areas. (See Stats. 2002, ch. 447, §§ 1-3 [amending

Prob. Code, § 6401 to provide automatic inheritance of a portion of a deceased

partner’s separate property]; id., ch. 412, § 1 [amending Prob. Code, § 21351 to

add domestic partners to the list of relationships exempted from the prohibition

against being a beneficiary of a will that the beneficiary helped draft]; id., ch. 901,

§§ 1-6 [amending various provisions of the Unemp. Ins. Code to provide

37

employees six weeks of paid family leave to care for a sick spouse or domestic

partner].)

Thereafter, in 2003, the Legislature dramatically expanded the scope of the

rights of domestic partners in California by enacting comprehensive domestic

partnership legislation: the California Domestic Partner Rights and

Responsibilities Act of 2003 (hereafter Domestic Partner Act). (Stats. 2003, ch.

421, introduced as Assem. Bill No. 205 (2003-2004 Reg. Sess.).) The Legislature

set forth the purpose of this act in section 1 (an uncodified provision) of the

legislation, declaring: “This act is intended to help California move closer to

fulfilling the promises of inalienable rights, liberty, and equality contained in

Sections 1 and 7 of Article 1 of the California Constitution by providing all caring

and committed couples, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation, the

opportunity to obtain essential rights, protections, and benefits and to assume

corresponding responsibilities, obligations, and duties and to further the state’s

interests in promoting stable and lasting family relationships, and protecting

Californians from the economic and social consequences of abandonment,

separation, the death of loved ones, and other life crises.” (Stats. 2003, ch. 421,

§ 1, subd. (a).) Finding that “many lesbian, gay, and bisexual Californians have

formed lasting, committed, and caring relationships with persons of the same sex,”

the Legislature concluded that “[e]xpanding the rights and creating responsibilities

of registered domestic partners would further California’s interests in promoting

family relationships and protecting family members during life crises, and would

reduce discrimination on the bases of sex and sexual orientation in a manner

consistent with the requirements of the California Constitution.” (Stats. 2003, ch.

421, § 1, subd. (b).) The Legislature further specified that the provisions of the

Domestic Partner Act “shall be construed liberally in order to secure to eligible

couples who register as domestic partners the full range of legal rights, protections

38

and benefits, as well as all of the responsibilities, obligations, and duties to each

other, to their children, to third parties and to the state, as the laws of California

extend to and impose upon spouses.” (Italics added.) (Stats. 2003, ch. 421, § 15.)

To effectuate this legislative purpose, the 2003 Domestic Partner Act

amended the existing statutory provisions relating to domestic partnership by

adding several entirely new provisions to the Family Code, most significantly

section 297.5, which the legislation provided would become operative on

January 1, 2005. (Stats. 2003, ch. 421, § 14.) Section 297.5, subdivision (a),

provides in broad and sweeping terms: “Registered domestic partners shall have

the same rights, protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same

responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether they derive from

statutes, administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common

law, or any other provisions or sources of law, as are granted to and imposed

upon spouses.” (Italics added.)22

Further, as we noted in Koebke v. Bernardo Heights Country Club (2005)

36 Cal.4th 824, 838-839 (Koebke), other subdivisions of section 297.5 similarly

effectuate the Legislature’s intent “by using the broadest terms possible to grant

to, and impose upon, registered domestic partners the same rights and

responsibilities as spouses in specified areas of laws whether they are current,

former or surviving domestic partners. For example, pursuant to section 297.5,


22

Section 297.5, subdivision (b), contains comparable expansive language

equalizing the rights and responsibilities of former registered domestic partners and
of former spouses. The provision declares: “Former registered domestic partners
shall have the same rights, protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the
same responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether they derive from
statutes, administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common law,
or any other provisions or sources of law, as are granted to and imposed upon
former spouses.”

39

subdivision (c), a ‘surviving registered domestic partner, [upon] the death of the

other partner,’ is granted all the same rights and is subject to all the same

responsibilities, from whatever source in the law, as those ‘granted to and imposed

upon a widow or a widower.’ Similarly, section 297.5, subdivision (d) states:

‘The rights and obligations of registered domestic partners with respect to a child

of either of them shall be the same as those of spouses. The rights and obligations

of former or surviving registered domestic partners with respect to a child of either

of them shall be the same as those of former or surviving spouses.’ Subdivision

(e) requires that, ‘[t]o the extent that provisions of California law adopt, refer to,

or rely upon . . . federal law’ and that this reliance on federal law would require

domestic partners to be treated differently than spouses, ‘registered domestic

partners shall be treated by California law as if federal law recognized a domestic

partnership in the same manner as California law.’ (§ 297.5, subd. (e).)”

We concluded in Koebke, supra, 36 Cal.4th 824, 839, that “[i]t is clear from

both the language of section 297.5 and the Legislature’s explicit statements of

intent that a chief goal of the Domestic Partner Act is to equalize the status of

registered domestic partners and married couples.”

Although the Domestic Partner Act generally equalized the treatment under

California law of registered domestic partners and married couples, there was one

significant area — state income taxes — in which the 2003 enactment did not

provide for equal treatment. Section 297.5, former subdivision (g) — a part of the

2003 act — provided in this regard: “Notwithstanding this section, in filing their

state income tax returns, domestic partners shall use the same filing status as is

used on their federal income tax returns, or that would have been used had they

filed federal income tax returns. Earned income may not be treated as community

property for state income tax purposes.”

40

In 2006, the Legislature eliminated this disparity in the treatment of

registered domestic partners and married couples with regard to state income taxes

by amending section 297.5 to delete the provisions of former subdivision (g) of

section 297.5 (and to renumber the subsequent subdivisions of section 297.5).

(Stats. 2006, ch. 802, § 2.) The 2006 legislation specifically declared that “[i]t is

the intent of the Legislature in enacting this bill that the inconsistency between

registered domestic partners and spouses with respect to state income taxation be

removed, registered domestic partners be permitted to file their income tax returns

jointly or separately on terms similar to those governing spouses, and the earned

income of registered domestic partners be recognized appropriately as community

property. As a result of this bill, registered domestic partners who file separate

income tax returns each shall report one-half of the combined income earned by

both domestic partners, as spouses do, rather than their respective individual

incomes for the taxable year.” (Stats. 2006, ch. 802, § 1, subd. (d).)

Most recently, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed into law a

bill requiring the Declaration of Domestic Partnership form to contain a section

affording either party or both parties the option of a change of name as part of the

registration process. (Stats. 2007, ch. 567, introduced as Assem. Bill No. 102

(Reg. Sess. 2007-2008) signed Oct. 12, 2007.)

Although the preamble to the 2003 Domestic Partner Act suggests that the

proponents of this legislation did not view the enactment as the final or ultimate

legislative step with regard to the official status available to same-sex couples (see

Stats. 2003, ch. 421, § 1, subd. (a) [“This act is intended to help California move

closer to fulfilling the promises of inalienable rights, liberty, and equality

contained in Sections 1 and 7 of Article 1 of the California Constitution . . .”

41

(italics added)]),23 nonetheless (by virtue of the explicit provisions of the

Domestic Partner Act) under the current governing California statute, registered

domestic partners generally “have the same rights, protections, and benefits, and

[are] subject to the same responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law . . . as

are granted to and imposed upon spouses.” (§ 297.5, subd. (a).)24


23

As noted above (ante, pp. 29-30, fn. 17), in 2005 and 2007 the Legislature

passed bills that would have amended section 300 to permit marriage of same-sex
couples (but that purported not to affect the provisions of section 308.5, which the
legislation viewed as applicable only to marriages performed outside of California).
The Governor vetoed both measures.

24

Although the governing statutes provide that registered domestic partners

have the same substantive legal rights and are subject to the same obligations as
married spouses, in response to a request for supplemental briefing by this court the
parties have identified various differences (nine in number) that exist in the
corresponding provisions of the domestic partnership and marriage statutes and in a
few other statutory and constitutional provisions.


First, although the domestic partnership provisions require that both partners

have a common residence at the time a domestic partnership is established (§ 297,
subd. (b) (1)), there is no similar requirement for marriage. Second, although the
domestic partnership legislation requires that both persons be at least 18 years of
age when the partnership is established (§ 297, subd. (b)(4)), the marriage statutes
permit a person under the age of 18 to marry with the consent of a parent or
guardian or a court order. (§§ 302, 303.) Third, to establish a domestic partnership,
the two persons desiring to become domestic partners must complete and file a
Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the Secretary of State, who registers the
declaration in a statewide registry for such partnerships (§ 298.5, subds. (a), (b)); to
marry, a couple must obtain a marriage license and certificate of registry of
marriage from the county clerk, have the marriage solemnized by an authorized
individual, and return the marriage license and certificate of registry to the county
recorder of the county in which the license was issued, who keeps a copy of the
certificate of registry of marriage and transmits the original certificate to the State
Registrar of Vital Statistics. (§§ 306, 359; Health & Saf. Code, §§ 102285, 102330,
102355.) Fourth, although the marriage statutes establish a procedure under which
an unmarried man and unmarried woman who have been residing together as
husband and wife may enter into a “confidential marriage” in which the marriage
certificate and date of the marriage are not made available to the public (§ 500 et
seq.), the domestic partnership law contains no similar provisions for “confidential

(footnote continued on next page)

42


(footnote continued from previous page)

domestic partnership.” Fifth, although both the domestic partnership and marriage
statutes provide a procedure for summary dissolution of the domestic partnership or
marriage under the same limited circumstances, a summary dissolution of a
domestic partnership is initiated by the partners’ joint filing of a Notice of
Termination of Domestic Partnership with the Secretary of State and may become
effective without any court action, whereas a summary dissolution of a marriage is
initiated by the spouses’ joint filing of a petition in superior court and becomes
effective only upon entry of a court judgment; in both instances, the dissolution
does not take effect for at least six months from the date dissolution is sought, and
during that period either party may terminate the summary dissolution. (§§ 299,
subds. (a)-(c), 2400 et seq.) Sixth, although a proceeding to dissolve a domestic
partnership may be filed in superior court “even if neither domestic partner is a
resident of, or maintains a domicile in, the state at the time the proceedings are
filed” (§ 299, subd. (d)), a judgment of dissolution of marriage may not be obtained
unless one of the parties has been a resident of California for six months and a
resident of the county in which the proceeding is filed for three months prior to the
filing of the petition for dissolution. (§ 2320.) Seventh, in order to protect the
federal tax-qualified status of the CalPERS (California Public Employees’
Retirement System) long-term care insurance program (see Sen. Com. on
Appropriations, fiscal summary of Assem. Bill No. 205 (2003-2004 Reg. Sess.) as
amended Aug. 21, 2003; 26 U.S.C. § 7702B(f)(2)(C)), the domestic partnership
statute provides that “nothing in this section applies to modify eligibility for [such]
long-term care plans” (§ 297.5, subd. (g)), which means that although such a plan
may provide coverage for a state employee’s spouse, it may not provide coverage
for an employee’s domestic partner; this same disparity, however, would exist even
if same-sex couples were permitted to marry under California law, because for
federal law purposes the nonemployee partner would not be considered a spouse.
(See 1 U.S.C. § 7.) Eighth, an additional difference stems from the provisions of
California Constitution, article XIII, section 3, subdivisions (o) and (p), granting a
$1,000 property tax exemption to an “unmarried spouse of a deceased veteran” who
owns property valued at less than $10,000; however, as the Legislative Analyst
explained when this constitutional provision last was amended in 1988 (see Ballot
Pamp., Gen. Elec. (Nov. 8, 1988) analysis by Legis. Analyst of Prop. 93, p. 60),
few persons claim this exemption, because a homeowner may not claim both this
exemption and the more generous homeowner’s exemption on the same property
(Rev. & Tax. Code, § 205.5, subd. (f)), and the homeowner’s exemption is
available to both married persons and domestic partners. (See § 297.5, subd. (a).)
Ninth, one appellate decision has held that the putative spouse doctrine (codified in
§ 2251) does not apply to an asserted putative domestic partner. (Velez v. Smith

(footnote continued on next page)

43

Of course, although the Domestic Partner Act generally affords registered

domestic partners the same substantive benefits and privileges and imposes upon

them the same responsibilities and duties that California law affords to and

imposes upon married spouses, the act does not purport to (and lawfully could not)

modify the applicable provisions of federal law, which currently do not provide

for domestic partnerships and which define marriage, for purposes of federal law,

as the union of a man and a woman. (See 1 U.S.C. § 7.)25 In light of the current

provisions of federal law, the many federal benefits (and the amount of those

benefits) granted to a married person or to a married couple on the basis of their

married status are not available to registered domestic partners. Included within

this category are significant benefits such as those relating to Social Security,


(footnote continued from previous page)

(2006) 142 Cal.App.4th 1154, 1172-1174.)


Plaintiffs also have brought to the court’s attention a statement of decision in

a recent superior court ruling that declares, in part, that “[a] Registered Domestic
Partnership is not the equivalent of a marriage. It is the functional equivalent of
cohabitation.” (Garber v. Garber (Super. Ct. Orange County, 2007, No.
04D006519.) That trial court ruling is currently on appeal and has no precedential
effect.

25

Title 1, section 7, of the United States Code provides in full: “In

determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or
interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United
States, the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one
woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the
opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.”


The Domestic Partner Act attempts to ameliorate the disparity in treatment

caused by federal law by providing in section 297.5, subdivision (e) that “[t]o the
extent that provisions of California law adopt, refer to, or rely upon, provisions of
federal law in a way that otherwise would cause registered domestic partners to be
treated differently than spouses, registered domestic partners shall be treated by
California law as if federal law recognized a domestic partnership in the same
manner as California law.”

44

Medicare, federal housing, food stamps, federal military and veterans’ programs,

federal employment programs, and filing status for federal income tax purposes.

All of these important federal benefits, however, also would be denied to same-sex

couples even if California designated the official union of such couples a marriage

rather than a domestic partnership, because, as noted, federal law defines marriage

for purposes of federal law as “only a legal union between one man and one

woman.” (1 U.S.C. § 7.)26

Thus, in sum, the current California statutory provisions generally afford

same-sex couples the opportunity to enter into a domestic partnership and thereby

obtain virtually all of the benefits and responsibilities afforded by California law

to married opposite-sex couples.

While acknowledging that the Domestic Partner Act affords substantial

benefits to same-sex couples, plaintiffs repeatedly characterize that legislation as


26

In addition to the differences in the provisions of the Domestic Partner Act

and the marriage statute set forth above (ante, at pp. 42-44, fn. 24), plaintiffs point
out that California’s designation of the union of same-sex couples as a domestic
partnership rather than a marriage has led at least one federal court to conclude that
same-sex couples lack standing to maintain a constitutional challenge to the federal
Defense of Marriage Act. (See Smelt v. Orange County (9th Cir. 2006) 447 F.3d
673.) The federal decision in question, however, does not suggest that a same-sex
couple would lack standing to mount a direct federal constitutional challenge to the
California marriage statutes or alternatively to mount a direct federal equal
protection challenge to the denial to domestic partners of federal benefits that are
made available to a married couple, on the theory that such differential treatment is
impermissible when state law affords domestic partners legal rights and benefits
equal to those afforded married spouses. The court in Smelt instead simply held
that the trial court properly concluded that abstention was warranted in light of the
pending state litigation that is the subject of the present appeal. (Id. at pp. 681-
682.) As explained below (post, at p. 48, fn. 28), in this case plaintiffs’ challenge is
based solely upon the provisions of the California Constitution, and plaintiffs have
not advanced any claim under the federal Constitution.

45

granting same-sex couples only the “material” or “tangible” benefits of marriage.

At least in some respects, this characterization inaccurately minimizes the scope

and nature of the benefits and responsibilities afforded by California’s domestic

partnership law. The broad reach of this legislation extends to the extremely wide

network of statutory provisions, common law rules, and administrative practices

that give substance to the legal institution of civil marriage, including, among

many others, various rules and policies concerning parental rights and

responsibilities affecting the raising of children, mutual duties of respect, fidelity

and support, the fiduciary relationship between partners, the privileged nature of

confidential communications between partners, and a partner’s authority to make

health care decisions when his or her partner is unable to act for himself or herself.

These legal rights and responsibilities embody more than merely the “material” or

“tangible” financial benefits that are extended by government to married couples.

As we explained in Koebke, supra, 36 Cal.4th 824, 843: “[T]he decision . . . to

enter into a domestic partnership is more than a change in the legal status of

individuals . . . . [T]he consequence[] of the decision is the creation of a new

family unit with all of its implications in terms of personal commitment as well as

legal rights and obligations.”

The nature and breadth of the rights afforded same-sex couples under the

Domestic Partner Act is significant, because under California law the scope of that

enactment is directly relevant to the question of the constitutional validity of the

provisions in California’s marriage statutes limiting marriage to opposite-sex

couples. As this court explained in Brown v. Merlo, supra, 8 Cal.3d 855, 862: “In

determining the scope of the class singled out for special burdens or benefits, a

court cannot confine its view to the terms of the specific statute under attack, but

must judge the enactment’s operation against the background of other legislative,

administrative and judicial directives which govern the legal rights of similarly

46

situated persons. As the United States Supreme Court recognized long ago: ‘The

question of constitutional validity is not to be determined by artificial standards

[confining review “within the four corners” of a statute]. What is required is that

state action, whether through one agency or another, or through one enactment or

more than one, shall be consistent with the restrictions of the Federal

Constitution.’ [Citations.]”

Accordingly, the provisions of both the current marriage statutes and the

current domestic partnership statutes must be considered in determining whether

the challenged provisions of the marriage statutes violate the constitutional rights

of same-sex couples guaranteed by the California Constitution.27


27

To avoid any potential misunderstanding, we note that the circumstance that

the constitutional challenge to the provisions of California’s marriage statutes must
be evaluated in light of both the marriage statutes and the domestic partnership
legislation does not in any sense signify that plaintiffs are in a worse position, as a
constitutional matter, by virtue of the Legislature’s enactment of the Domestic
Partner Act.


If a comprehensive domestic partnership law had not been enacted in

California, and if plaintiffs had brought a constitutional challenge to the California
marriage statutes and our court had concluded that those statutes were
unconstitutional because they did not afford same-sex couples rights and benefits
equal to those available to opposite-sex couples under the marriage statutes, we
might well have further concluded — as other state courts have determined in
similar situations — that the appropriate disposition would be to direct the
Legislature to provide equal treatment to same-sex couples, leaving to the
Legislature, in the first instance, the decision whether to provide such treatment by
a revision of the marriage statutes or by the enactment of a comprehensive domestic
partnership or civil union law. (See Baker v. State, supra, 744 A.2d 864, 886-889;
Lewis v. Harris, supra, 908 A.2d 196, 221-223.)


Because the California Legislature already has enacted a comprehensive

domestic partnership law which broadly grants to same-sex couples virtually all of
the substantive legal rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex married couples,
plaintiffs have been relieved of the burden of successfully prosecuting a
constitutional challenge to obtain those substantive rights and benefits. Thus, in
this proceeding, we are faced only with the narrower question that logically ensues:

(footnote continued on next page)

47

IV

Plaintiffs contend that by limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples,

California’s marriage statutes violate a number of provisions of the California

Constitution.28 In particular, plaintiffs contend that the challenged statutes violate

a same-sex couple’s fundamental “right to marry” as guaranteed by the privacy,

free speech, and due process clauses of the California Constitution (Cal. Const.,

art. I, §§ 1, 2, 7), and additionally violate the equal protection clause of the

California Constitution (Cal. Const., art. I, § 7).29 Because the question whether


(footnote continued from previous page)

whether, in light of the enactment of California’s domestic partnership legislation,
the current California statutory scheme is constitutional.


We note that in Baker v. State, supra, 744 A.2d 864, 886, and Lewis v.

Harris, supra, 908 A.2d 196, 221-222, the Vermont Supreme Court and the New
Jersey Supreme Court specifically reserved judgment on the analogous state
constitutional question that would be presented should the legislature decide to
extend to same-sex couples the substantive benefits, but not the official designation,
of marriage. To date, neither of these courts has addressed this issue.

28

Plaintiffs base their constitutional challenge in this case solely upon the

provisions of the California Constitution and do not advance any claim under the
federal Constitution. (See Cal. Const., art. I, § 24 [“Rights guaranteed by this
Constitution are not dependent on those guaranteed by the United States
Constitution”].)

29

Article I, section 1 provides: “All people are by nature free and independent

and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and
liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining
safety, happiness, and privacy.” (Italics added.)


Article I, section 2, subdivision (a), provides: “Every person may freely

speak, write and publish his or her sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for
the abuse of this right. A law may not restrain or abridge liberty of speech or
press.” (Italics added.)


Article I, section 7, subdivision (a), provides in relevant part: “A person

may not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law or
denied equal protection of the laws . . . .” (Italics added.)

48

the challenged aspect of the marriage statutes violates or impinges upon the

fundamental right to marry may be determinative in deciding the appropriate

standard of review to be applied in evaluating plaintiffs’ equal protection

challenge, we first address the question whether the challenged statutes

independently infringe a fundamental constitutional right guaranteed by the

California Constitution.

A

Although our state Constitution does not contain any explicit reference to a

“right to marry,” past California cases establish beyond question that the right to

marry is a fundamental right whose protection is guaranteed to all persons by the

California Constitution. (See, e.g., Conservatorship of Valerie N. (1985) 40

Cal.3d 143, 161 (Valerie N.) [“The right to marriage and procreation are now

recognized as fundamental, constitutionally protected interests. [Citations.] . . .

These rights are aspects of the right of privacy which . . . is express in section 1 of

article I of the California Constitution which includes among the inalienable rights

possessed by all persons in this state, that of ‘privacy’ ”]; Williams v. Garcetti

(1993) 5 Cal.4th 561, 577 [“we have . . . recognized that ‘[t]he concept of

personal liberties and fundamental human rights entitled to protection against

overbroad intrusion or regulation by government . . . extends to . . . such basic

civil liberties and rights not explicitly listed in the Constitution [as] the right “to

marry, establish a home and bring up children” ’ ”]; Ortiz v. Los Angeles Police

Relief Assn. (2002) 98 Cal.App.4th 1288, 1303 [“under the state Constitution, the

right to marry and the right of intimate association are virtually synonymous. . . .

[W]e will refer to the privacy right in this case as the right to marry”]; In re

Carrafa (1978) 77 Cal.App.3d 788, 791 [“[t]he right to marry is a fundamental

constitutional right”].) The United States Supreme Court initially discussed the

constitutional right to marry as an aspect of the fundamental substantive “liberty”

49

protected by the due process clause of the federal Constitution (see Meyer v.

Nebraska (1923) 262 U.S. 390, 399), but thereafter in Griswold v. Connecticut

(1965) 381 U.S. 479 (Griswold), the federal high court additionally identified the

right to marry as a component of a “right of privacy” protected by the federal

Constitution. (Griswold, at p. 486.) With California’s adoption in 1972 of a

constitutional amendment explicitly adding “privacy” to the “inalienable rights” of

all Californians protected by article I, section 1 of the California Constitution —

an amendment whose history demonstrates that it was intended, among other

purposes, to encompass the federal constitutional right of privacy, “particularly as

it developed beginning with Griswold v. Connecticut[, supra,] 381 U.S. 479” (Hill

v. National Collegiate Athletic Assn. (1994) 7 Cal.4th 1, 28) — the state

constitutional right to marry, while presumably still embodied as a component of

the liberty protected by the state due process clause,30 now also clearly falls within

the reach of the constitutional protection afforded to an individual’s interest in

personal autonomy by California’s explicit state constitutional privacy clause.

(See, e.g., Hill v. National Collegiate Athletic Assn., supra, 7 Cal.4th at p. 34 [the

interest in personal autonomy protected by the state constitutional privacy clause

includes “the freedom to pursue consensual familial relationships”]; Valerie N.,

supra, 40 Cal.3d 143, 161.)31


30

See People v. Belous (1969) 71 Cal.2d 954, 963 (“[t]he fundamental right of

the woman to choose whether to bear children follows from the Supreme Court’s
and this court’s repeated acknowledgment of a ‘right of privacy’ or ‘liberty’ in
matters related to marriage, family, and sex”).

31

As we recognized in Hill v. National Collegiate Athletic Assn., supra, 7

Cal.4th 1, 35, the privacy interests protected under article I, section 1, fall into two
categories: autonomy privacy and informational privacy. The right to marry
constitutes an aspect of autonomy privacy. (See Hill, at p. 34 [describing “the

(footnote continued on next page)

50

Although all parties in this proceeding agree that the right to marry

constitutes a fundamental right protected by the state Constitution, there is

considerable disagreement as to the scope and content of this fundamental state

constitutional right. The Court of Appeal concluded that because marriage in

California (and elsewhere) historically has been limited to opposite-sex couples,

the constitutional right to marry under the California Constitution properly should

be interpreted to afford only a right to marry a person of the opposite sex, and that

the constitutional right that plaintiffs actually are asking the court to recognize is a

constitutional “right to same-sex marriage.” In the absence of any historical or

precedential support for such a right in this state, the Court of Appeal determined

that plaintiffs’ claim of the denial of a fundamental right under the California

Constitution must be rejected.

Plaintiffs challenge the Court of Appeal’s characterization of the

constitutional right they seek to invoke as the right to same-sex marriage, and on

this point we agree with plaintiffs’ position. In Perez v. Sharp, supra, 32 Cal.2d

711 — this court’s 1948 decision holding that the California statutory provisions

prohibiting interracial marriage were unconstitutional — the court did not

characterize the constitutional right that the plaintiffs in that case sought to obtain

as “a right to interracial marriage” and did not dismiss the plaintiffs’ constitutional

challenge on the ground that such marriages never had been permitted in

California.32 Instead, the Perez decision focused on the substance of the


(footnote continued from previous page)

freedom to pursue consensual familial relationships” as an “interest fundamental to
personal autonomy”].)

32

The marriage statute enacted in California’s first legislative session

contained an explicit provision declaring that “[a]ll marriages of white persons with

(footnote continued on next page)

51

constitutional right at issue — that is, the importance to an individual of the

freedom “to join in marriage with the person of one’s choice” — in determining

whether the statute impinged upon the plaintiffs’ fundamental constitutional right.

(32 Cal.2d at pp. 715, 717, italics added.) Similarly, in Valerie N., supra, 40

Cal.3d 143 — which involved a challenge to a statute limiting the reproductive

freedom of a developmentally disabled woman — our court did not analyze the

scope of the constitutional right at issue by examining whether developmentally

disabled women historically had enjoyed a constitutional right of reproductive

freedom, but rather considered the substance of that constitutional right in

determining whether the right was one that properly should be interpreted as

extending to a developmentally disabled woman. (40 Cal.3d at pp. 160-164.)

And, in addressing a somewhat analogous point, the United States Supreme Court

in Lawrence v. Texas (2003) 539 U.S. 558 concluded that its prior decision in

Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) 478 U.S. 186 had erred in narrowly characterizing the

constitutional right sought to be invoked in that case as the right to engage in

intimate homosexual conduct, determining instead that the constitutional right

there at issue properly should be understood in a broader and more neutral fashion

so as to focus upon the substance of the interests that the constitutional right is

intended to protect. (539 U.S. at pp. 565-577.)33


(footnote continued from previous page)

negroes or mulattoes are declared to be illegal and void.” (Stats. 1850, ch. 140, § 3,
p. 424.)

33

Similarly, in addressing under the federal Constitution the validity of a

prison rule that permitted a prisoner to marry only if the superintendent of the
prison found there were compelling reasons to permit the marriage, the high court
did not characterize the constitutional right at issue as “the right to inmate
marriage,” but rather considered whether the purposes and attributes of the general

(footnote continued on next page)

52

The flaw in characterizing the constitutional right at issue as the right to

same-sex marriage rather than the right to marry goes beyond mere semantics. It

is important both analytically and from the standpoint of fairness to plaintiffs’

argument that we recognize they are not seeking to create a new constitutional

right — the right to “same-sex marriage” — or to change, modify, or (as some

have suggested) “deinstitutionalize” the existing institution of marriage. Instead,

plaintiffs contend that, properly interpreted, the state constitutional right to marry

affords same-sex couples the same rights and benefits — accompanied by the

same mutual responsibilities and obligations — as this constitutional right affords

to opposite-sex couples.34 For this reason, in evaluating the constitutional issue

before us, we consider it appropriate to direct our focus to the meaning and

substance of the constitutional right to marry, and to avoid the potentially

misleading implications inherent in analyzing the issue in terms of “same-sex

marriage.”

Accordingly, in deciding whether the constitutional right to marry protected

by the California Constitution applies to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-

sex couples and, further, whether the current California marriage and domestic

partnership statutes deny same-sex couples this fundamental constitutional right,

we shall examine the nature and substance of the interests protected by the

(footnote continued from previous page)

fundamental right to marry were applicable in the prison context. (Turner v. Safley
(1987) 482 U.S. 78, 95-96.)

34

Because the right to marry refers to the right of an individual to enter into a

consensual relationship with another person, we find it appropriate and useful to
refer to the right to marry as a right possessed both by each individual member of
the couple and by the couple as a whole. (Cf. N.A.A.C.P. v. Alabama (1957) 357
U.S. 449, 458-460 [holding that nonprofit association may assert the right of
privacy of its members under the federal constitutional right of association].)

53

constitutional right to marry. In undertaking this inquiry, we put to the side for the

moment the question whether the substantive rights embodied within the

constitutional right to marry include the right to have the couple’s official

relationship designated by the name “marriage” rather than by some other term,

such as “domestic partnership.” The latter issue is addressed below. (See, post,

pp. 80-82.)

In discussing the constitutional right to marry in Perez v. Sharp, supra, 32

Cal.2d 711 (Perez), then Justice Traynor in the lead opinion quoted the seminal

passage from the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Meyer v. Nebraska,

supra, 262 U.S. 390. There the high court, in describing the scope of the “liberty”

protected by the due process clause of the federal Constitution, stated that

“ ‘[w]ithout doubt, it denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint, but also

the right of the individual to contract, to engage in any of the common occupations

of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring up

children, to worship God according to the dictates of one’s own conscience, and,

generally, to enjoy those privileges long recognized at common law as essential to

the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.’ ” (Perez, supra, 32 Cal.2d at

p. 714, italics added [“to marry” italicized by Perez], quoting Meyer, supra, 262

U.S. 390, 399.) The Perez decision continued: “Marriage is thus something more

than a civil contract subject to regulation by the state; it is a fundamental right of

free men.” (Perez, supra, 32 Cal.2d at p. 714, italics added.)

Like Perez, subsequent California decisions discussing the nature of

marriage and the right to marry have recognized repeatedly the linkage between

marriage, establishing a home, and raising children in identifying civil marriage as

the means available to an individual to establish, with a loved one of his or her

choice, an officially recognized family relationship. In DeBurgh v. DeBurgh

(1952) 39 Cal.2d 858, for example, in explaining “the public interest in the

54

institution of marriage” (id. at p. 863), this court stated: “The family is the basic

unit of our society, the center of the personal affections that ennoble and enrich

human life. It channels biological drives that might otherwise become socially

destructive; it ensures the care and education of children in a stable environment;

it establishes continuity from one generation to another; it nurtures and develops

the individual initiative that distinguishes a free people. Since the family is the

core of our society, the law seeks to foster and preserve marriage.” (Id. at pp. 863-

864.)

In Elden v. Sheldon, supra, 46 Cal.3d 267, in rejecting the claim that

persons in an unmarried cohabitant relationship that allegedly was akin to a

marital relationship should be treated similarly to married persons for purposes of

bringing an action for negligent infliction of emotional distress, this court

explained that “ ‘[m]arriage is accorded [a special] degree of dignity in recognition

that “[t]he joining of the man and woman in marriage is at once the most socially

productive and individually fulfilling relationship that one can enjoy in the course

of a lifetime.” ’ ” (46 Cal.3d at pp. 274-275, italics added, quoting Nieto v. City of

Los Angeles (1982) 138 Cal.App.3d 464, quoting Marvin v. Marvin (1976) 18

Cal.3d 660, 684.) The court in Elden v. Sheldon further explained: “Our emphasis

on the state’s interest in promoting the marriage relationship is not based on

anachronistic notions of morality. The policy favoring marriage is ‘rooted in the

necessity of providing an institutional basis for defining the fundamental

relational rights and responsibilities in organized society.’ [Citation.] Formally

married couples are granted significant rights and bear important responsibilities

toward one another which are not shared by those who cohabit without

marriage. . . . Plaintiff does not suggest a convincing reason why cohabiting

unmarried couples, who do not bear such legal obligations toward one another,

55

should be permitted to recover for injuries to their partners to the same extent as

those who undertake these responsibilities.” (46 Cal.3d at p. 275, italics added.)

In Williams v. Garcetti, supra, 5 Cal.4th 561, a case in which a criminal

statute that prohibited contributing to the delinquency of a minor was challenged

on the ground the statute was unconstitutionally vague, this court stated:

“Plaintiffs emphasize the fundamental nature of the rights at stake in matters of

child rearing. We need no convincing of their significance; we have already

recognized that ‘[t]he concept of personal liberties and fundamental human rights

entitled to protection against overbroad intrusion or regulation by government . . .

extends to . . . such basic civil liberties and rights not listed in the Constitution [as]

the right “to marry, establish a home and bring up children” . . . ; the right to

educate one’s children as one chooses . . . ; . . . and the right to privacy and to be

let alone by the government in “the private realm of family life.” ’ ” (5 Cal.3d at

p. 577.)

And in Warfield v. Peninsula Golf & Country Club (1995) 10 Cal.4th 594,

in discussing the types of relationship that fall within the scope of the

constitutionally protected right of intimate association (one component of our state

constitutional right of privacy (id. at pp. 629-630)), we explained that “the highly

personal relationships that are sheltered by this constitutional guaranty are

exemplified by ‘those that attend the creation and sustenance of a family

marriage . . . , childbirth . . . , the raising and education of children . . . and

cohabitation with one’s relatives . . . .’ . . . ‘Family relationships, by their nature,

involve deep attachments and commitments to the necessarily few other

individuals with whom one shares not only a special community of thoughts,

experiences, and beliefs but also distinctly personal aspects of one’s life.’ ” (10

Cal.4th at p. 624, italics added, quoting Roberts v. United States Jaycees (1984)
468 U.S. 609, 619-620.) The constitutional right to marry thus may be understood

56

as constituting a subset of the right of intimate association — a subset possessing

its own substantive content and affording a distinct set of constitutional

protections and guarantees.

As these and many other California decisions make clear, the right to marry

represents the right of an individual to establish a legally recognized family with

the person of one’s choice, and, as such, is of fundamental significance both to

society and to the individual.35

Society is served by the institution of civil marriage in many ways.

Society, of course, has an overriding interest in the welfare of children, and the

role marriage plays in facilitating a stable family setting in which children may be

raised by two loving parents unquestionably furthers the welfare of children and

society. In addition, the role of the family in educating and socializing children

serves society’s interest by perpetuating the social and political culture and

providing continuing support for society over generations.36 It is these features


35

Numerous decisions of the United States Supreme Court, in discussing

marriage and the federal constitutional right to marry, similarly recognize that the
significance of this right lies in its relationship to the establishment of a family.
(See, e.g., Zablocki v. Redhail (1978) 434 U.S. 374, 386 [“It is not surprising that
the decision to marry has been placed on the same level of importance as decisions
relating to procreation, childbirth, child rearing, and family relationships. . . . [I]t
would make little sense to recognize a right of privacy with respect to other matters
of family life and not with respect to the decision to enter the relationship that is the
foundation of the family in our society”]; Maynard v. Hill (1888) 125 U.S. 190, 211
[“[Marriage] is the foundation of the family and of society, without which there
would be neither civilization nor progress”]; Smith v. Organization of Foster
Families for Equality & Reform
(1977) 431 U.S. 816, 843 [describing marriage as
“[t]he basic foundation of the family in our society”].)

36

“Through the commitments of marriage and kinship both children and

parents experience the need for and the value of authority, responsibility, and duty
in their most pristine forms. [¶] . . . [¶] . . . American society has ‘relied to a
considerable extent on the family not only to nurture the young but also to instill the

(footnote continued on next page)

57

that the California authorities have in mind in describing marriage as the “basic

unit” or “building block” of society. (See, e.g., DeBurgh v. DeBurgh, supra, 39

Cal.2d 858, 863 [“[t]he family is the basic unit of our society”]; Baker v. Baker

(1859) 13 Cal. 87, 94 [“[t]he public is interested in the marriage relation and the

maintenance of its integrity, as it is the foundation of the social system”]; Elden v.

Sheldon, supra, 46 Cal.3d 267, 281, fn. 1 (dis. opn. of Broussard, J.) [referring to

“the well-accepted maxim that marriage serves as the building block of society”];

Dawn D. v. Superior Court (1998) 17 Cal.4th 932, 968 (dis. opn. of Chin, J.)

[“ ‘the family provides the foundation upon which our society is built and through

which its most cherished values are best transmitted’ ”].) Furthermore, the legal

obligations of support that are an integral part of marital and family relationships

relieve society of the obligation of caring for individuals who may become

incapacitated or who are otherwise unable to support themselves. (See, e.g., Elisa

B. v. Superior Court (2005) 37 Cal.4th 108, 123.)37 In view of the public’s


(footnote continued from previous page)

habits required for citizenship in a self-governing community. We have relied on
the family to teach us to care for others, [and] to moderate . . . self-interest . . . .’ . . .
With this perspective, the family in a democratic society not only provides
emotional companionship, but is also a principal source of moral and civic duty. . . .
[¶] Something about the combined permanence, authority, and love that
characterize the formal family uniquely makes possible the performance of this
teaching enterprise.” (Hafen, The Constitutional Status of Marriage, Kinship and
Sexual Privacy — Balancing the Individual and Social Interests
(1983) 81 Mich.
L.Rev. 463, 476-477, fns. omitted (hereafter Constitutional Status of Marriage).)

37

“Although the legal system has shifted its focus from families to individuals,

society still relies on families to play a crucial role in caring for the young, the
aged, the sick, the severely disabled, and the needy. Even in advanced welfare
states, families at all levels are a major resource for government, sharing the
burdens of dependency with public agencies in various ways and to greater and
lesser degrees.” (Glendon, The Transformation of Family Law (1989) p. 306.)

58

significant interest in marriage, California decisions have recognized that the

Legislature has broad authority in seeking to protect and regulate this relationship

by creating incentives to marry and adopting measures to protect the marital

relationship. (See, e.g., McClure v. Donovan (1949) 33 Cal.2d 717, 728 [“the

Legislature has full control of the subject of marriage and may fix the conditions

under which the marital state may be created or terminated”].)

Although past California cases emphasize that marriage is an institution in

which society as a whole has a vital interest, our decisions at the same time

recognize that the legal right and opportunity to enter into such an officially

recognized relationship also is of overriding importance to the individual and to

the affected couple. As noted above, past California decisions have described

marriage as “the most socially productive and individually fulfilling relationship

that one can enjoy in the course of a lifetime.” (Marvin v. Marvin, supra, 18

Cal.3d 660, 684; accord, Maynard v. Hill, supra, 125 U.S. 190, 205 [describing

marriage as “the most important relation in life”].) The ability of an individual to

join in a committed, long-term, officially recognized family relationship with the

person of his or her choice is often of crucial significance to the individual’s

happiness and well-being. The legal commitment to long-term mutual emotional

and economic support that is an integral part of an officially recognized marriage

relationship provides an individual with the ability to invest in and rely upon a

loving relationship with another adult in a way that may be crucial to the

individual’s development as a person and achievement of his or her full

potential.38


38

“The formal commitment of marriage is . . . the basis of stable expectations

in personal relationships. The willingness to marry permits important legal and
personal assumptions to arise about one’s intentions. Marriage . . . carries with it a

(footnote continued on next page)

59

Further, entry into a formal, officially recognized family relationship

provides an individual with the opportunity to become a part of one’s partner’s

family, providing a wider and often critical network of economic and emotional

security. (Accord, e.g., Moore v. City of East Cleveland (1977) 431 U.S. 494,

504-505 [“Ours is by no means a tradition limited to respect for the bonds uniting

the members of the nuclear family. . . . Out of choice, necessity, or a sense of

family responsibility, it has been common for close relatives to draw together and

participate in the duties and the satisfactions of a common home. . . . Especially in

times of adversity . . . the broader family has tended to come together for mutual

sustenance and to maintain or rebuild a secure home life”].) The opportunity of a

couple to establish an officially recognized family of their own not only grants

access to an extended family but also permits the couple to join the broader family

social structure that is a significant feature of community life.39 Moreover, the

(footnote continued from previous page)

commitment toward permanence that places it in a different category of relational
interests than if it were temporary. A ‘justifiable expectation . . . that [the]
relationship will continue indefinitely’ permits parties to invest themselves in the
relationship with a reasonable belief that the likelihood of future benefits warrants
the attendant risks and inconveniences.” (Constitutional Status of Marriage, supra,
81 Mich. L.Rev. 463, 485-486, fns. omitted; see also id. at pp. 479-480 [“Mediating
structures are ‘the value-generating and value-maintaining agencies in
society.’ . . . [¶] A recent analysis of the concept of mediating structures identifies
the family as ‘the major institution within the private sphere, and thus for many
people the most valuable thing in their lives. Here they make their moral
commitments, invest their emotions, [and] plan for the future . . . .’ The family’s
role in providing emotional and spiritual comfort, as well as human fulfillment, has
long been a dominant theme in sociological literature” (fns. omitted)].)

39

As one scholarly article reported, sociological researchers in an updated

“Middletown project” (involving a representative American city) found that “ ‘the
single most important fact about the nuclear family in contemporary Middletown is
that it is not isolated’ from kinship networks. From the standpoint of social
structuring, ‘the kin groups organized on the basis of marriage and descent provide

(footnote continued on next page)

60

opportunity to publicly and officially express one’s love for and long-term

commitment to another person by establishing a family together with that person

also is an important element of self-expression that can give special meaning to

one’s life. Finally, of course, the ability to have children and raise them with a

loved one who can share the joys and challenges of that endeavor is without doubt

a most valuable component of one’s liberty and personal autonomy. Although

persons can have children and raise them outside of marriage, the institution of

civil marriage affords official governmental sanction and sanctuary to the family

unit, granting a parent the ability to afford his or her children the substantial

benefits that flow from a stable two-parent family environment,40 a ready and

public means of establishing to others the legal basis of one’s parental relationship


(footnote continued from previous page)

the substance which integrates people into the larger social structure. . . . The moral
sentiments established in the interaction of parents and their children are extended
and elaborated to produce consensus and loyalties which bind social groups (and
possibly societies) into a cohesive whole.’ ” (Constitutional Status of Marriage,
supra, 81 Mich. L.Rev. 463, 482, fns. omitted.)

40

“[T]he conditions that optimize ‘a home environment which enables [a

child] to develop into a mature and responsible adult’ are clearly encouraged by
cultural patterns and reinforced by legal expectations that create a sense of
permanency and stable expectations in child-parent relations. By giving priority to
permanent, relational interests within families, the Supreme Court has reinforced
the law’s insistence on the conditions that maximize stability.” (Constitutional
Status of Marriage
, supra, 81 Mich. L.Rev. 463, 473, fn. omitted.) The quoted
article acknowledges that “[n]ot all formal families are stable, nor do all necessarily
provide wholesome continuity for their children, as the prevailing levels of child
abuse and divorce amply demonstrate.” (Id. at p. 475.) Nonetheless, the article
indicates that “the commitments inherent in formal families do increase the
likelihood of stability and continuity for children. Those factors are so essential to
child development that they alone may justify the legal incentives and preferences
traditionally given to permanent kinship units based on marriage.” (Id. at pp. 475-
476.)

61

to one’s children (cf. Koebke, supra, 36 Cal.4th 824, 844-845; Elden v. Sheldon,

supra, 46 Cal.3d 267, 275), and the additional security that comes from the

knowledge that his or her parental relationship with a child will be afforded

protection by the government against the adverse actions or claims of others. (Cf.,

e.g., Dawn D. v. Superior Court, supra, 17 Cal.4th 932 [when biological mother

was married at the time of a child’s conception and birth, husband is the presumed

father of the child, and another man who claims to be the child’s biological father

has no constitutional right to bring an action to establish a legal relationship with

the child].)

There are, of course, many persons and couples who choose not to enter

into such a relationship and who prefer to live their lives without the formal,

officially recognized and sanctioned, long-term legal commitment to another

person signified by marriage or an equivalent relationship. Nonetheless, our cases

recognize that the opportunity to establish an officially recognized family with a

loved one and to obtain the substantial benefits such a relationship may offer is of

the deepest and utmost importance to any individual and couple who wish to make

such a choice.

If civil marriage were an institution whose only role was to serve the

interests of society, it reasonably could be asserted that the state should have full

authority to decide whether to establish or abolish the institution of marriage (and

any similar institution, such as domestic partnership). In recognizing, however,

that the right to marry is a basic, constitutionally protected civil right — “a

fundamental right of free men [and women]” (Perez, supra, 32 Cal.2d 711,

714) —the governing California cases establish that this right embodies

fundamental interests of an individual that are protected from abrogation or

62

elimination by the state.41 Because our cases make clear that the right to marry is

an integral component of an individual’s interest in personal autonomy protected

by the privacy provision of article I, section 1, and of the liberty interest protected

by the due process clause of article I, section 7, it is apparent under the California

Constitution that the right to marry — like the right to establish a home and raise

children — has independent substantive content, and cannot properly be

understood as simply the right to enter into such a relationship if (but only if) the

Legislature chooses to establish and retain it. (Accord, Poe v. Ullman (1961) 367

U.S. 497, 553 (dis. opn. of Harlan, J.) [“the intimacy of husband and wife is

necessarily an essential and accepted feature of the institution of marriage, an

institution which the State not only must allow, but which always and in every age

it has fostered and protected” (italics added)].)42

41

It is noteworthy that the California and federal Constitutions are not alone in

recognizing that the right to marry is not properly viewed as simply a benefit or
privilege that a government may establish or abolish as it sees fit, but rather that the
right constitutes a basic civil or human right of all people. Article 16 of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General
Assembly in 1948, provides: “Men and women of full age, without any limitation
due to race, nationality, or religion, have the right to marry and to found a
family. . . . [¶]. . . [¶] The family is the natural and fundamental unit of society and
is entitled to protection by society and the State.” Numerous other international
human rights treaties similarly recognize the right “to marry and to found a family”
as a basic human right (Internat. Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, art. 23; see
European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental
Freedoms, art. 12; Amer. Convention on Human Rights, art. 17), and the
constitutions of many nations throughout the world explicitly link marriage and
family and provide special protections to these institutions. (See Wardle, Federal
Constitutional Protection for Marriage: Why and How
(2006) 20 BYU
J. Pub.L. 439, 453-461 [describing constitutional provisions of other nations].)

42

One legal commentator has suggested that the federal constitutional right to

marry simply “comprises a right of access to the expressive and material benefits
that the state affords to the institution of marriage . . . [and that] states may abolish
marriage without offending the Constitution.” (Sunstein, The Right to Marry

(footnote continued on next page)

63

One very important aspect of the substantive protection afforded by the

California constitutional right to marry is, of course, an individual’s right to be

free from undue governmental intrusion into (or interference with) integral

features of this relationship — that is, the right of marital or familial privacy.

(See, e.g., In re Marriage of Wellman (1980) 104 Cal.App.3d 992, 996 [manner of

raising one’s child]; accord, e.g., Griswold, supra, 381 U.S. 479 [use of

contraception]; Moore v. City of East Cleveland, supra, 431 U.S. 494

[cohabitation with extended family].) The substantive protection embodied in the

constitutional right to marry, however, goes beyond what is sometimes

characterized as simply a “negative” right insulating the couple’s relationship from

overreaching governmental intrusion or interference, and includes a “positive”

right to have the state take at least some affirmative action to acknowledge and

support the family unit.

Although the constitutional right to marry clearly does not obligate the state

to afford specific tax or other governmental benefits on the basis of a couple’s

family relationship, the right to marry does obligate the state to take affirmative

action to grant official, public recognition to the couple’s relationship as a family


(footnote continued from previous page)

(2005) 26 Cardozo L.Rev. 2081, 2083-2084, italics omitted.) The article in
question concedes, however, that its suggested view of the right to marry is
inconsistent with the governing federal cases that identify the right to marry as an
integral feature of the liberty interest protected by the due process clause (id. at
pp. 2096-2097), and further acknowledges that even “[i]f official marriage was
abolished, the Due Process Clause might give people a right to some of the benefits
and arrangements to which married people are ordinarily entitled under existing
law.” (Id. at p. 2093.) As explained above, in light of the governing cases
identifying the source and explaining the significance of the state constitutional
right to marry, we conclude that under the California Constitution this
constitutional right properly must be viewed as having substantive content.

64

(Perez, supra, 32 Cal.2d 711; In re Carrafa, supra, 77 Cal.App.3d 788, 791),43 as

well as to protect the core elements of the family relationship from at least some

types of improper interference by others. (Cf. Sesler v. Montgomery (1889) 78

Cal. 486, 488-489 [in holding that a confidential conversation between husband

and wife, allegedly overheard by an eavesdropper, “does not constitute a

publication within the meaning of the law of slander,” the court explained that

“every sound consideration of public policy, every just regard for the integrity and

inviolability of the marriage relation[] — the most confidential relation known to

the law” — dictated that conclusion].) This constitutional right also has the

additional affirmative substantive effect of providing assurance to each member of

the relationship that the government will enforce the mutual obligations between

the partners (and to their children) that are an important aspect of the

commitments upon which the relationship rests. (Cf. In re Marriage of Bonds

(2000) 24 Cal.4th 1, 27-29 [contrasting fiduciary relationship during marriage with

relationship prior to marriage].)


43

Three of the four decisions of the United States Supreme Court that have

found state statutes invalid as violative of the right to marry, as that right is
embodied in the federal Constitution, involved circumstances in which an
individual was prohibited under state law from entering into an officially sanctioned
family relationship. (See Loving v. Virginia (1967) 388 U.S. 1; Zablocki v. Redhail,
supra, 434 U.S. 374; Turner v. Safley, supra, 482 U.S. 78.) In the fourth
decision — Griswold, supra, 381 U.S. 479 — the court found that a state statute
prohibiting married couples from using contraceptives violated the constitutional
right of marital privacy inherent in the constitutional right to marry.


A number of law review articles support the view that the constitutional right

to marry encompasses a positive right to have the state publicly and officially
recognize a couple’s family relationship. (See Ball, The Positive in the
Fundamental Right to Marry: Same-Sex Marriage in the Aftermath of
Lawrence v.
Texas (2004) 88 Minn. L.Rev. 1184; Meyer, A Privacy Right to Public Recognition
of Family Relationships? The Cases of Marriage and Adoption
(2006) 51 Vill.
L.Rev. 891.)

65

In light of the fundamental nature of the substantive rights embodied in the

right to marry — and their central importance to an individual’s opportunity to

live a happy, meaningful, and satisfying life as a full member of society — the

California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil

right to all individuals and couples, without regard to their sexual orientation.44

It is true, of course, that as an historical matter in this state marriage always

has been limited to a union between a man and a woman. Tradition alone,

however, generally has not been viewed as a sufficient justification for

perpetuating, without examination, the restriction or denial of a fundamental

constitutional right. (Cf. Perez, supra, 32 Cal.2d 711, 727; Sail’er Inn, Inc. v.

Kirby (1971) 5 Cal.3d 1, 17-19 (Sail’er Inn).)45 As this court observed in People


44

As this court observed in Valerie N., supra, 40 Cal.3d 143, 163, “[a]rticle I,

section 1, confirms the right not only to privacy, but to pursue happiness and enjoy
liberty.” (See also Grodin, Rediscovering the State Constitutional Right to
Happiness and Safety
(1997) 25 Hast.Const. L.Q. 1.)

45 In

Perez, supra, 32 Cal.2d 711, the lead opinion, in describing the historical

basis of California’s antimiscegenation statute, quoted from a California judicial
decision of an earlier era (People v. Hall (1854) 4 Cal. 399, 404), which set forth, as
an assertedly established and uncontrovertible proposition, the alleged inferior
nature of all non-Caucasian persons. (Perez, supra, 32 Cal.2d at p. 720.) The court
in Perez rejected that demeaning and unsubstantiated characterization, and found
there was no justification for the racially discriminatory restriction on the right to
marry. (Id. at pp. 722-727.)
Similarly,

in

Sail’er Inn, supra, 5 Cal.3d 1, this court, in holding

unconstitutional a statutory provision that generally prohibited women from being
employed as bartenders, took note of the significant evolution that had occurred in
society’s views of the appropriate role of women in society and of the relative
abilities and capacities of men and women. Pointing to the United States Supreme
Court’s early-20th-century decision in Muller v. Oregon (1908) 208 U.S. 412, the
court in Sail’er Inn observed: “No judge today would justify classification based
on sex by resort to such openly biased and wholly chauvinistic statements as this
one made by Justice Brewer in Muller [at pp. 421-422]: ‘[H]istory discloses the fact
that woman has always been dependent upon man. He established his control at the

(footnote continued on next page)

66

v. Belous, supra, 71 Cal.2d 954, 967, “[c]onstitutional concepts are not static. . . .

‘In determining what lines are unconstitutionally discriminatory, we have never

been confined to historic notions of equality, any more than we have restricted due

process to a fixed catalogue of what was at a given time deemed to be the limits of

fundamental rights.’ ” (See, e.g., In re Antazo (1970) 3 Cal.3d 100, 109 [“the

long-standing recognition of this practice does not foreclose its reassessment in the

light of the continued evolution of fundamental precepts of our constitutional

system”].)

There can be no question but that, in recent decades, there has been a

fundamental and dramatic transformation in this state’s understanding and legal

treatment of gay individuals and gay couples. California has repudiated past

practices and policies that were based on a once common viewpoint that

denigrated the general character and morals of gay individuals, and at one time

even characterized homosexuality as a mental illness rather than as simply one of

the numerous variables of our common and diverse humanity. This state’s current

policies and conduct regarding homosexuality recognize that gay individuals are

entitled to the same legal rights and the same respect and dignity afforded all other

individuals and are protected from discrimination on the basis of their sexual


(footnote continued from previous page)

outset by superior physical strength, and this control in various forms, with
diminishing intensity, has continued to the present. . . . Though limitations upon
personal and contractual rights may be removed by legislation, there is that in her
disposition and habits of life which will operate against a full assertion of those
rights. . . . Doubtless there are individual exceptions . . . but looking at it from the
viewpoint of the effort to maintain an independent position in life, she is not upon
an equality.’ ” (5 Cal.3d at p. 17, fn. 15.)

67

orientation,46 and, more specifically, recognize that gay individuals are fully

capable of entering into the kind of loving and enduring committed relationships

that may serve as the foundation of a family and of responsibly caring for and

raising children.47

Contrary to the assertions in Justice Baxter’s concurring and dissenting

opinion (see post, at pp. 1-2, 6-7, 11-14), our reference to numerous statutes

demonstrating California’s current recognition that gay individuals are entitled to

equal and nondiscriminatory legal treatment (ante, fns. 46, 47) does not suggest

that an individual’s entitlement to equal treatment under the law — regardless of

his or her sexual orientation — is grounded upon the Legislature’s recent

enactment of the Domestic Partner Act or any other legislative measure. The

capability of gay individuals to enter into loving and enduring relationships

comparable to those entered into by heterosexuals is in no way dependent upon the

enactment of the Domestic Partner Act; the adoption of that legislation simply

constitutes an explicit official recognition of that capacity. Similarly, the

numerous recent legislative enactments prohibiting discrimination on the basis of

sexual orientation were not required in order to confer upon gay individuals a legal

status equal to that enjoyed by heterosexuals; these measures simply provide

46

See, for example, Civil Code section 51 (barring sexual orientation

discrimination in the provision of services by any business establishment);
Government Code sections 12920 (barring sexual orientation discrimination in
employment), 12955 (barring sexual orientation discrimination in housing), 11135,
subdivision (a) (barring sexual orientation discrimination in any program operated
by, or that receives any financial assistance from, the state); Gay Law Students
Assn. v. Pacific Tel. & Tel. Co.
(1979) 24 Cal.3d 458, 466-475 (Gay Law Students)
(Cal. Const. prohibits sexual orientation discrimination by public utility).

47

See, for example, sections 297 et seq., 9000, subdivisions (b), (g); Welfare &

Institutions Code section 16013, subdivision (a); Sharon S. v. Superior Court
(2003) 31 Cal.4th 417; Elisa B. v. Superior Court, supra, 37 Cal.4th 108.

68

explicit official recognition of, and affirmative support for, that equal legal status.

Indeed, the change in this state’s past treatment of gay individuals and homosexual

conduct is reflected in scores of legislative, administrative, and judicial actions

that have occurred over the past 30 or more years. (See, e.g., Stats. 1975, ch. 71,

§§ 7, 10, pp. 133, 134 [revising statutes criminalizing consensual sodomy and oral

copulation]; Governor’s Exec. Order No. B-54-79 (Apr. 4, 1979) [barring sexual-

orientation discrimination against state employees]; Morrison v. State Board of

Education (1969) 1 Cal.3d 214 [homosexual conduct does not in itself necessarily

constitute immoral conduct or demonstrate unfitness to teach].) Thus, just as this

court recognized in Perez that it was not constitutionally permissible to continue to

treat racial or ethnic minorities as inferior (Perez, supra, 32 Cal.2d at pp. 720-

727), and in Sail’er Inn that it was not constitutionally acceptable to continue to

treat women as less capable than and unequal to men (Sail’er Inn, supra, 5 Cal.3d

at pp. 17-20 & fn. 15), we now similarly recognize that an individual’s

homosexual orientation is not a constitutionally legitimate basis for withholding or

restricting the individual’s legal rights.

In light of this recognition, sections 1 and 7 of article I of the California

Constitution cannot properly be interpreted to withhold from gay individuals the

same basic civil right of personal autonomy and liberty (including the right to

establish, with the person of one’s choice, an officially recognized and sanctioned

family) that the California Constitution affords to heterosexual individuals. The

privacy and due process provisions of our state Constitution — in declaring that

“[a]ll people . . . have [the] inalienable right[] [of] privacy” (art. I, § 1) and that no

person may be deprived of “liberty” without due process of law (art. I, § 7) — do

not purport to reserve to persons of a particular sexual orientation the substantive

protection afforded by those provisions. In light of the evolution of our state’s

69

understanding concerning the equal dignity and respect to which all persons are

entitled without regard to their sexual orientation, it is not appropriate to interpret

these provisions in a way that, as a practical matter, excludes gay individuals from

the protective reach of such basic civil rights. (Cf. Valerie N., supra, 40 Cal.3d

143, 154, 160-165 [holding that the state constitutional right of personal autonomy

in matters of reproductive choice must be interpreted to afford incompetent

developmentally disabled women the benefits accorded by that constitutional

right].)

In reaching the contrary conclusion that the right to marry guaranteed by

the California Constitution should be understood as protecting only an individual’s

right to enter into an officially recognized family relationship with a person of the

opposite sex, the Court of Appeal relied upon a number of decisions that have

cautioned against defining at too high a level of generality those constitutional

rights that are protected as part of the substantive due process doctrine. (See, e.g.,

Washington v. Glucksberg (1997) 521 U.S. 702, 723 [holding, in case challenging

constitutional validity of statute forbidding assisted suicide, that liberty interest at

issue should not be defined as an interest in choosing “how to die” or “the time

and manner of one’s death”; instead the issue was whether the liberty interest

protected by the due process clause “includes a right to commit suicide which

itself includes a right to assistance in doing so”]; Reno v. Flores (1993) 507 U.S.

292, 302 [holding, in case challenging federal policy of placing deportable

juveniles in custodial child care rather than releasing them to unrelated adults, that

the right at issue should not be viewed as “freedom from physical restraint” but

rather “the alleged right of a child who has no available parent, close relative, or

legal guardian, and for whom the government is responsible, to be placed in the

custody of a willing-and-able private custodian rather than of a government-

operated or government-selected child-care institution”]; Dawn D. v. Superior

70

Court, supra, 17 Cal.4th 932, 941 [holding, in case in which an alleged biological

father sought an opportunity to establish a relationship with a child whose

biological mother was married to another man at the time of the child’s conception

and birth, that the appropriate question was not whether a biological father

generally has a liberty interest in establishing a relationship with his biological

child but rather whether the federal Constitution protects a biological father’s

“interest in establishing a relationship with his child born to a woman married to

another man at the time of the child’s conception and birth”].)

None of the foregoing decisions — in emphasizing the importance of

undertaking a “ ‘careful description’ of the asserted fundamental liberty interest”

(Washington v. Glucksberg, supra, 521 U.S. 702, 721) — suggests, however, that

it is appropriate to define a fundamental constitutional right or interest in so

narrow a fashion that the basic protections afforded by the right are withheld from

a class of persons — composed of individuals sharing a personal characteristic

such as a particular sexual orientation — who historically have been denied the

benefit of such rights. As noted above, our decision in Perez, supra, 32 Cal.2d

711, declining to define narrowly the right to marry, did not consider the fact that

discrimination against interracial marriage was “sanctioned by the state for many

years” a reason to reject the plaintiffs’ claim in that case. (Id., at p. 727.) Instead

the court looked to the essence and substance of the right to marry, a right itself

deeply rooted in the history and tradition of our state and nation, to determine

whether the challenged statute impinged upon the plaintiffs’ constitutional right.

For similar reasons, it is apparent that history alone does not provide a justification

for interpreting the constitutional right to marry as protecting only one’s ability to

enter into an officially recognized family relationship with a person of the opposite

sex. In this regard, we agree with the view expressed by Chief Judge Kaye of the

New York Court of Appeals in her dissenting opinion in Hernandez v. Robles,

71

supra, 855 N.E.2d 1, 23: “[F]undamental rights, once recognized, cannot be

denied to particular groups on the ground that these groups have historically been

denied those rights.” (Cf. Taylor v. Louisiana (1975) 419 U.S. 522, 537 [“it is no

longer tenable to hold that women as a class may be excluded or given automatic

exemptions based solely on sex if the consequence is that criminal jury venires are

almost totally male. . . . If it was ever the case that women were unqualified to sit

on juries or were so situated that none of them should be required to perform jury

service, that time has long since passed”].)

Furthermore, unlike the situation presented in several prior decisions of this

court in which recognition of a party’s claim of a constitutional right necessarily

and invariably would have had the effect of reducing or diminishing the rights of

other persons (see, e.g., Johnson v. Calvert (1993) 5 Cal.4th 84, 92, fn. 8, 100

[noting, in rejecting surrogate mother’s claim of a liberty interest in the

companionship of a child, that recognition of such an interest would impinge upon

the liberty interests of the child’s legal parents]; Dawn D. v. Superior Court,

supra, 17 Cal.4th 932 [rejecting asserted biological father’s claim of a liberty

interest in establishing relationship with a child whose biological mother was

married to another man when the child was conceived and born]), in the present

context our recognition that the constitutional right to marry applies to same-sex

couples as well as to opposite-sex couples does not diminish any other person’s

constitutional rights. Opposite-sex couples will continue to enjoy precisely the

same constitutional rights they traditionally have possessed, unimpaired by our

recognition that this basic civil right is applicable, as well, to gay individuals and

same-sex couples.

The Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund and the Campaign agree that the

constitutional right to marry is integrally related to the right of two persons to join

72

together to establish an officially recognized family, but they contend that the only

family that possibly can be encompassed by the constitutional right to marry is a

family headed by a man and a woman. Pointing out that past cases often have

linked marriage and procreation, these parties argue that because only a man and a

woman can produce children biologically with one another, the constitutional right

to marry necessarily is limited to opposite-sex couples.

This contention is fundamentally flawed for a number of reasons. To begin

with, although the legal institution of civil marriage may well have originated in

large part to promote a stable relationship for the procreation and raising of

children (see, e.g., Baker v. Baker, supra, 13 Cal. 87, 103 [“the first purpose of

matrimony, by the laws of nature and society, is procreation”]; see generally

Blankenhorn, The Future of Marriage (2007) pp. 23-125), and although the right

to marry and to procreate often are treated as closely related aspects of the privacy

and liberty interests protected by the state and federal Constitutions (see, e.g.,

Valerie N., supra, 40 Cal.3d 143, 161; Skinner v. Oklahoma (1942) 316 U.S. 527,

541), the constitutional right to marry never has been viewed as the sole preserve

of individuals who are physically capable of having children. Men and women

who desire to raise children with a loved one in a recognized family but who are

physically unable to conceive a child with their loved one never have been

excluded from the right to marry. Although the Proposition 22 Legal Defense

Fund and the Campaign assert that the circumstance that marriage has not been

limited to those who can bear children can be explained and justified by reference

to the state’s reluctance to intrude upon the privacy of individuals by inquiring

into their fertility, if that were an accurate and adequate explanation for the

absence of such a limitation it would follow that in instances in which the state is

able to make a determination of an individual’s fertility without such an inquiry, it

would be constitutionally permissible for the state to preclude an individual who is

73

incapable of bearing children from entering into marriage. There is, however, no

authority whatsoever to support the proposition that an individual who is

physically incapable of bearing children does not possess a fundamental

constitutional right to marry. Such a proposition clearly is untenable. A person

who is physically incapable of bearing children still has the potential to become a

parent and raise a child through adoption or through means of assisted

reproduction, and the constitutional right to marry ensures the individual the

opportunity to raise children in an officially recognized family with the person

with whom the individual has chosen to share his or her life. Thus, although an

important purpose underlying marriage may be to channel procreation into a stable

family relationship, that purpose cannot be viewed as limiting the constitutional

right to marry to couples who are capable of biologically producing a child

together.48

A variant of the contention that the right to marry is limited to couples who

are capable of procreation is that the purpose of marriage is to promote

“responsible procreation” and that a restriction limiting this right exclusively to

opposite-sex couples follows from this purpose. A number of recent state court

decisions, applying the rational basis equal protection standard, have relied upon

this purpose as a reasonably conceivable justification for a statutory limitation of

marriage to opposite-sex couples. These decisions have explained that although


48

Although California cases hold that one of the types of misrepresentation or

concealment that will justify a judgment of nullity of marriage is the intentional
misrepresentation or concealment of an individual’s inability to have children (see,
e.g., Vileta v. Vileta (1942) 53 Cal.App.2d 794, 796; Aufort v. Aufort (1935) 9
Cal.App.2d 310, 311), no case has suggested that an inability to have children —
when disclosed to a prospective partner — would constitute a basis for denying a
marriage license or nullifying a marriage.

74

same-sex couples can have or obtain children through assisted reproduction or

adoption, resort to such methods demonstrates, in the case of a same-sex couple,

that parenthood necessarily is an intended consequence because each of these two

methods requires considerable planning and expense, whereas in the case of an

opposite-sex couple a child often is the unintended consequence of the couple’s

sexual intercourse. These courts reason that a state plausibly could conclude that

although affording the benefits of marriage to opposite-sex couples is an incentive

needed to ensure that accidental procreation is channeled into a stable family

relationship, a similar incentive is not required for same-sex couples because they

cannot produce children accidentally. (See, e.g., Morrison v. Sadler, supra, 821

N.E.2d 15, 23-29; Hernandez v. Robles, supra, 855 N.E.2d 1, 7.)

Whether or not the state’s interest in encouraging responsible procreation

properly can be viewed as a reasonably conceivable justification for the statutory

limitation of marriage to a man and a woman for purposes of the rational basis

equal protection standard, this interest clearly does not provide an appropriate

basis for defining or limiting the scope of the constitutional right to marry. None

of the past cases discussing the right to marry — and identifying this right as one

of the fundamental elements of personal autonomy and liberty protected by our

Constitution — contains any suggestion that the constitutional right to marry is

possessed only by individuals who are at risk of producing children accidentally,

or implies that this constitutional right is not equally important for and guaranteed

to responsible individuals who can be counted upon to take appropriate

precautions in planning for parenthood. Thus, although the state undeniably has a

legitimate interest in promoting “responsible procreation,” that interest cannot be

viewed as a valid basis for defining or limiting the class of persons who may claim

the protection of the fundamental constitutional right to marry.

75

Furthermore, although promoting and facilitating a stable environment for

the procreation and raising of children is unquestionably one of the vitally

important purposes underlying the institution of marriage and the constitutional

right to marry, past cases make clear that this right is not confined to, or

restrictively defined by, that purpose alone. (See, e.g., Baker v. Baker, supra, 13

Cal. 87, 103 [“[t]he second purpose of matrimony is the promotion of the

happiness of the parties by the society of each other”].) As noted above, our past

cases have recognized that the right to marry is the right to enter into a relationship

that is “the center of the personal affections that ennoble and enrich human life”

(DeBurgh v. DeBurgh, supra, 39 Cal.2d 858, 863-864) — a relationship that is “at

once the most socially productive and individually fulfilling relationship that one

can enjoy in the course of a lifetime.” (Marvin v. Marvin, supra, 18 Cal.3d 660,

684; see also Elden v. Sheldon, supra, 46 Cal.3d 267, 274.) The personal

enrichment afforded by the right to marry may be obtained by a couple whether or

not they choose to have children, and the right to marry never has been limited to

those who plan or desire to have children. Indeed, in Griswold v. Connecticut,

supra, 381 U.S. 479 — one of the seminal federal cases striking down a state law

as violative of the federal constitutional right of privacy — the high court upheld a

married couple’s right to use contraception to prevent procreation, demonstrating

quite clearly that the promotion of procreation is not the sole or defining purpose

of marriage. Similarly, in Turner v. Safley, supra, 482 U.S. 78, the court held that

the constitutional right to marry extends to an individual confined in state

prison — even a prisoner who has no right to conjugal visits with his would-be

spouse — emphasizing that “[m]any important attributes of marriage remain . . .

after taking into account the limitations imposed by prison life . . . [including the]

expressions of emotional support and public commitment [that] are an important

and significant aspect of the marital relationship.” (482 U.S. at pp. 95-96.)

76

Although Griswold and Turner relate to the right to marry under the federal

Constitution, they accurately reflect the scope of the state constitutional right to

marry as well. Accordingly, this right cannot properly be defined by or limited to

the state’s interest in fostering a favorable environment for the procreation and

raising of children.

The Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund and the Campaign also rely upon

several academic commentators who maintain that the constitutional right to marry

should be viewed as inapplicable to same-sex couples because a contrary

interpretation assertedly would sever the link that marriage provides between

procreation and child rearing and would “send a message” to the public that it is

immaterial to the state whether children are raised by their biological mother and

father. (See, e.g., Blankenhorn, The Future of Marriage, supra, at pp. 201-212;

Wardle, “Multiply and Replenish”: Considering Same-Sex Marriage in Light of

State Interests in Marital Procreation (2001) 24 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 771, 797-

799; Gallaher, What Is Marriage For? The Public Purposes of Marriage Law

(2002) 62 La. L.Rev. 773, 779-780, 790-791.) Although we appreciate the

genuine concern for the well-being of children underlying that position, we

conclude this claim lacks merit. Our recognition that the core substantive rights

encompassed by the constitutional right to marry apply to same-sex as well as

opposite-sex couples does not imply in any way that it is unimportant or

immaterial to the state whether a child is raised by his or her biological mother and

father. By recognizing this circumstance we do not alter or diminish either the

legal responsibilities that biological parents owe to their children or the substantial

incentives that the state provides to a child’s biological parents to enter into and

77

raise their child in a stable, long-term committed relationship.49 Instead, such an

interpretation of the constitutional right to marry simply confirms that a stable

two-parent family relationship, supported by the state’s official recognition and

protection, is equally as important for the numerous children in California who are

being raised by same-sex couples as for those children being raised by opposite-

sex couples (whether they are biological parents or adoptive parents).50 This

interpretation also guarantees individuals who are in a same-sex relationship, and

who are raising children, the opportunity to obtain from the state the official

recognition and support accorded a family by agreeing to take on the substantial

and long-term mutual obligations and responsibilities that are an essential and

inseparable part of a family relationship.51


49

As noted in our earlier discussion of the relationship between procreation

and marriage, many opposite-sex married couples choose not to have children and
many other opposite-sex married couples become parents through adoption or
through a variety of assisted-reproduction techniques. If societal acceptance of
these marriages (whose numbers surely exceed the number of potential same-sex
unions) does not “send a message” that it is immaterial to the state whether children
are raised by their biological mother and father — and we conclude there clearly is
no such message — it is difficult to understand why the message would be sent by
our recognition that same-sex couples possess a constitutional right to marry. (See,
e.g., Baker v. State, supra, 744 A.2d 864, 882.)

50

According to a report based upon a review of data from the 2000 Census, at

the time of that census same-sex couples in California were raising more than
70,000 children. (See Badgett & Sears, Same-Sex Couples and Same-Sex Couples
Raising Children in California: Data from Census 2000
(May 2004) p. 2
<http://www.law.ucla.edu/williamsproj/publications/CaliforniaCouplesReport.pdf>
[as of May 15, 2008].) The report also states that the 2000 census data indicates
that, as of that date, 33 percent of female same-sex couples and 28.4 percent of all
same-sex couples in California were raising children, and further notes that those
figures do not include foster children being raised by same-sex couples. (Id. at
p. 10.)

51

In support of the argument that recognizing that the constitutional right to

marry applies to same-sex couples “will eventually devalue the institution [of

(footnote continued on next page)

78

Accordingly, we conclude that the right to marry, as embodied in article I,

sections 1 and 7 of the California Constitution, guarantees same-sex couples the

same substantive constitutional rights as opposite-sex couples to choose one’s life

partner and enter with that person into a committed, officially recognized, and

protected family relationship that enjoys all of the constitutionally based incidents

of marriage.52


(footnote continued from previous page)

marriage] to the detriment of children,” one amicus curiae brief (brief of the
American Center for Law & Justice) relies upon a passage attributed to the
philosopher John Rawls with respect to the institutions of marriage and family, in
which Rawls states that one of the essential functions of the family “is to establish
the orderly production and reproduction of society and of its culture from one
generation to the next” and that “[r]eproductive labor is socially necessary labor.”
(Rawls, Justice as Fairness: A Restatement (2001) p. 162.) In the cited work,
however, after explaining that “essential to the role of the family is the arrangement
in a reasonable and effective way of the raising and caring for children, ensuring
their moral development and education into the wider culture,” Rawls proceeds to
observe that in his view, “no particular form of the family (monogamous,
heterosexual, or otherwise) is so far required by a political conception of justice so
long as it is arranged to fulfill these tasks effectively and does not run afoul of other
political values.” (Id. at pp. 162-163.) Rawls then adds that “this observation sets
the way in which justice as fairness deals with the question of gay and lesbian rights
and duties, and how they affect the family. If these rights and duties are consistent
with orderly family life and the education of children, they are, ceteris paribus [all
other things being equal], fully admissible.” (Id. at p. 163, fn. 42.)

52

We emphasize that our conclusion that the constitutional right to marry

properly must be interpreted to apply to gay individuals and gay couples does not
mean that this constitutional right similarly must be understood to extend to
polygamous or incestuous relationships. Past judicial decisions explain why our
nation’s culture has considered the latter types of relationships inimical to the
mutually supportive and healthy family relationships promoted by the
constitutional right to marry. (See, e.g., Reynolds v. United States (1878) 98 U.S.
145, 165-166; Davis v. Beason (1890) 133 U.S. 333, 341; People v. Scott (2007)
157 Cal.App.4th 189, 192-194; State v. Freeman (Ohio Ct.App. 2003) 801 N.E.2d
906, 909; Smith v. State (Tenn.Crim.App. 1999) 6 S.W.3d 512, 518-520.)
Although the historic disparagement of and discrimination against gay individuals

(footnote continued on next page)

79

B

The Attorney General, in briefing before this court, argues that even if, as

we have concluded, the state constitutional right to marry extends to same-sex

couples as well as to opposite-sex couples, the current California statutes do not

violate the fundamental rights of same-sex couples, “because all of the personal

and dignity interests that have traditionally informed the right to marry have been

given to same-sex couples through the Domestic Partner Act.” Maintaining that

“under the domestic partnership system, the word ‘marriage’ is all that the state is

denying to registered domestic partners,” the Attorney General asserts that “[t]he

fundamental right to marry can no more be the basis for same-sex couples to

compel the state to denominate their committed relationships ‘marriage’ than it

could be the basis for anyone to prevent the state legislature from changing the

name of the marital institution itself to ‘civil unions.’ ” Accordingly, the Attorney

General argues that in light of the rights afforded to same-sex couples by the

Domestic Partner Act, the current California statutes cannot be found to violate the

right of same-sex couples to marry.

We have no occasion in this case to determine whether the state

constitutional right to marry necessarily affords all couples the constitutional right


(footnote continued from previous page)

and gay couples clearly is no longer constitutionally permissible, the state
continues to have a strong and adequate justification for refusing to officially
sanction polygamous or incestuous relationships because of their potentially
detrimental effect on a sound family environment. (Accord, e.g., Potter v. Murray
City
(C.D. Utah 1984) 585 F.Supp. 1126, 1137-1140, affd. (10th Cir. 1985) 760
F.2d 1065, 1068-1071, cert. den. (1985) 474 U.S. 849; People v. Scott, supra, 157
Cal.App.4th 189, 193-194.) Thus, our conclusion that it is improper to interpret
the state constitutional right to marry as inapplicable to gay individuals or couples
does not affect the constitutional validity of the existing legal prohibitions against
polygamy and the marriage of close relatives.

80

to require the state to designate their official family relationship a “marriage,” or

whether, as the Attorney General suggests, the Legislature would not violate a

couple’s constitutional right to marry if — perhaps in order to emphasize and

clarify that this civil institution is distinct from the religious institution of

marriage — it were to assign a name other than marriage as the official

designation of the family relationship for all couples. The current California

statutes, of course, do not assign a name other than marriage for all couples, but

instead reserve exclusively to opposite-sex couples the traditional designation of

marriage, and assign a different designation — domestic partnership — to the only

official family relationship available to same-sex couples.

Whether or not the name “marriage,” in the abstract, is considered a core

element of the state constitutional right to marry, one of the core elements of this

fundamental right is the right of same-sex couples to have their official family

relationship accorded the same dignity, respect, and stature as that accorded to all

other officially recognized family relationships. The current statutes — by

drawing a distinction between the name assigned to the family relationship

available to opposite-sex couples and the name assigned to the family relationship

available to same-sex couples, and by reserving the historic and highly respected

designation of marriage exclusively to opposite-sex couples while offering same-

sex couples only the new and unfamiliar designation of domestic partnership —

pose a serious risk of denying the official family relationship of same-sex couples

the equal dignity and respect that is a core element of the constitutional right to

marry. As observed by the City at oral argument, this court’s conclusion in Perez,

supra, 32 Cal.2d 711, that the statutory provision barring interracial marriage was

unconstitutional, undoubtedly would have been the same even if alternative

nomenclature, such as “transracial union,” had been made available to interracial

couples.

81



Accordingly, although we agree with the Attorney General that the

provisions of the Domestic Partner Act afford same-sex couples most of the

substantive attributes to which they are constitutionally entitled under the state

constitutional right to marry, we conclude that the current statutory assignment of

different designations to the official family relationship of opposite-sex couples

and of same-sex couples properly must be viewed as potentially impinging upon

the state constitutional right of same-sex couples to marry.

V

The current statutory assignment of different names for the official family

relationships of opposite-sex couples on the one hand, and of same-sex couples on

the other, raises constitutional concerns not only in the context of the state

constitutional right to marry, but also under the state constitutional equal

protection clause. Plaintiffs contend that by permitting only opposite-sex couples

to enter into a relationship designated as a “marriage,” and by designating as a

“domestic partnership” the parallel relationship into which same-sex couples may

enter,53 the statutory scheme impermissibly denies same-sex couples the equal

protection of the laws, guaranteed by article I, section 7, of the California

Constitution. The relevant California statutes clearly treat opposite-sex and same-

sex couples differently in this respect, and the initial question we must consider in


53

Although the Domestic Partner Act also makes domestic partnership

available to opposite-sex couples if at least one of the partners is over the age of 62
years (§ 297, subd. (b)(5)(B)), under sections 300 and 308.5 the relationship
designated “marriage” is available only to opposite-sex couples and thus only the
relationship designated “domestic partnership” is available to same-sex couples.

82

addressing the equal protection issue is the standard of review that should be

applied in evaluating this distinction.54

There are two different standards traditionally applied by California courts

in evaluating challenges made to legislation under the equal protection clause. As

we recently explained in Hernandez v. City of Hanford (2007) 41 Cal.4th 279

(Hernandez), “ ‘ “[t]he first is the basic and conventional standard for reviewing

economic and social welfare legislation in which there is a ‘discrimination’ or

differentiation of treatment between classes or individuals. . . . [That standard]

invests legislation involving such differentiated treatment with a presumption of

constitutionality and ‘requir[es] merely that distinctions drawn by a challenged

statute bear some rational relationship to a conceivable legitimate state

purpose.’. . . [T]he burden of demonstrating the invalidity of a classification under

this standard rests squarely upon the party who assails it.” ’ [Citation.] This first


54

One defendant, the Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund, advances a threshold

argument that same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples are not “similarly
situated” with regard to the challenged statute’s legitimate purpose (Purdy &
Fitzpatrick v. State of California
(1969) 71 Cal.2d 566, 578), assertedly obviating
any need for this court even to consider which standard of review applies to
plaintiffs’ equal protection claim. Although the separate opinions of Justice Baxter
(conc. & dis. opn., post, at pp. 19-20) and Justice Corrigan (conc. & dis. opn., post,
at pp. 5-6) embrace this argument, which in reality would insulate the challenged
marriage statute from any meaningful equal protection review, we conclude this
contention clearly lacks merit. Both groups at issue consist of pairs of individuals
who wish to enter into a formal, legally binding and officially recognized, long-
term family relationship that affords the same rights and privileges and imposes the
same obligations and responsibilities. Under these circumstances, there is no
question but that these two categories of individuals are sufficiently similar to bring
into play equal protection principles that require a court to determine “ ‘whether
distinctions between the two groups justify the unequal treatment.’ ” (People v.
Hofsheier
(2006) 37 Cal.4th 1185, 1200.)

83

basic equal protection standard generally is referred to as the ‘rational

relationship’ or ‘rational basis’ standard.” (41 Cal.4th at pp. 298-299.)

Our decision in Hernandez, supra, 41 Cal.4th 279, further explained:

“[T]he second equal protection standard is ‘ “[a] more stringent test [that] is

applied . . . in cases involving ‘suspect classifications’ or touching on

‘fundamental interests.’ Here the courts adopt ‘an attitude of active and critical

analysis, subjecting the classifications to strict scrutiny. . . . Under the strict

standard applied in such cases, the state bears the burden of establishing not only

that it has a compelling interest which justifies the law but that the distinctions

drawn by the law are necessary to further its purpose.’ [Citation.]” ’ . . . This

second standard generally is referred to as the ‘strict scrutiny’ standard.” (41

Cal.4th at p. 299.)55

Plaintiffs maintain, on three separate grounds, that strict scrutiny is the

standard that should be applied in this case, contending the distinctions drawn by

the statutes between opposite-sex and same-sex couples (1) discriminate on the

basis of sex (that is, gender), (2) discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation,

and (3) impinge upon a fundamental right. We discuss each of these three claims

in turn.


55

As we noted in Hernandez, supra, 41 Cal.4th 279, 299, footnote 12: “In

applying the federal equal protection clause, the United States Supreme Court has
applied a third standard — ‘intermediate scrutiny’ — ‘to discriminatory
classifications based on sex or illegitimacy.’ (Clark v. Jeter (1988) 486 U.S. 456,
461.)” Past California decisions, by contrast, have applied the strict scrutiny
standard when evaluating discriminatory classifications based on sex (see, e.g.,
Sail’er Inn, supra, 5 Cal.3d 1, 15-20; Arp v. Worker’s Comp. Appeals Bd. (1977) 19
Cal.3d 395, 400; Michael M. v. Superior Court (1979) 25 Cal.3d 608, 610-611;
Catholic Charities of Sacramento, Inc. v. Superior Court (2004) 32 Cal.4th 527,
564), and have not applied an intermediate scrutiny standard under equal protection
principles in any case involving a suspect (or quasi-suspect) classification.

84

A

Plaintiffs initially contend that the relevant California statutes, by drawing a

distinction between couples consisting of a man and a woman and couples

consisting of two persons of the same sex or gender, discriminate on the basis of

sex and for that reason should be subjected to strict scrutiny under the state equal

protection clause. Although the governing California cases long have established

that statutes that discriminate on the basis of sex or gender are subject to strict

scrutiny under the California Constitution (see, e.g., Catholic Charities of

Sacramento, Inc. v. Superior Court, supra, 32 Cal.4th 527, 564; Sail’er Inn, supra,

5 Cal.3d 1, 17-20), we conclude that the challenged statutes cannot properly be

viewed as discriminating on the basis of sex or gender for purposes of the

California equal protection clause.

In drawing a distinction between opposite-sex couples and same-sex

couples, the challenged marriage statutes do not treat men and women differently.

Persons of either gender are treated equally and are permitted to marry only a

person of the opposite gender. In light of the equality of treatment between

genders, the distinction prescribed by the relevant statutes plainly does not

constitute discrimination on the basis of sex as that concept is commonly

understood.

Plaintiffs contend, however, that the statutory distinction nonetheless

should be viewed as sex or gender discrimination because the statutory limitation

upon marriage in a particular case is dependent upon an individual person’s sex or

gender. Plaintiffs argue that because a woman who wishes to marry another

woman would be permitted to do so if she were a man rather than a woman, and a

man who wishes to marry another man would be permitted to do so if he were a

woman rather than a man, the statutes must be seen as embodying discrimination

on the basis of sex. Plaintiffs rely on the decisions in Perez, supra, 32 Cal.2d 711,

85

and Loving v. Virginia, supra, 388 U.S. 1, in which this court and subsequently the

United States Supreme Court found that the antimiscegenation statutes at issue in

those cases discriminated on the basis of race, even though the statutes prohibited

White persons from marrying Black persons and Black persons from marrying

White persons.

The decisions in Perez, supra, 32 Cal.2d 711, and Loving v. Virginia,

supra, 388 U.S. 1, however, are clearly distinguishable from this case, because the

antimiscegenation statutes at issue in those cases plainly treated members of

minority races differently from White persons, prohibiting only intermarriage that

involved White persons in order to prevent (in the undisguised words of the

defenders of the statute in Perez) “the Caucasian race from being contaminated by

races whose members are by nature physically and mentally inferior to

Caucasians.” (Perez, supra, 32 Cal.2d at p. 722; see also Loving, supra, 388 U.S.

at p. 11 [“The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving

white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own

justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy”].) Under these

circumstances, there can be no doubt that the reference to race in the statutes at

issue in Perez and Loving unquestionably reflected the kind of racial

discrimination that always has been recognized as calling for strict scrutiny under

equal protection analysis.

In

Perez, Loving, and a number of other decisions (see, e.g., McLaughlin v.

Florida (1964) 379 U.S. 184, 192), courts have recognized that a statute that treats

a couple differently based upon whether the couple consists of persons of the same

race or of different races generally reflects a policy disapproving of the integration

or close relationship of individuals of different races in the setting in question, and

as such properly is viewed as embodying an instance of racial discrimination with

respect to the interracial couple and both of its members. By contrast, past judicial

86

decisions, in California and elsewhere, virtually uniformly hold that a statute or

policy that treats men and women equally but that accords differential treatment

either to a couple based upon whether it consists of persons of the same sex rather

than opposite sexes, or to an individual based upon whether he or she generally is

sexually attracted to persons of the same gender rather than the opposite gender, is

more accurately characterized as involving differential treatment on the basis of

sexual orientation rather than an instance of sex discrimination, and properly

should be analyzed on the former ground. These cases recognize that, in realistic

terms, a statute or policy that treats same-sex couples differently from opposite-

sex couples, or that treats individuals who are sexually attracted to persons of the

same gender differently from individuals who are sexually attracted to persons of

the opposite gender, does not treat an individual man or an individual woman

differently because of his or her gender but rather accords differential treatment

because of the individual’s sexual orientation.

In

Gay Law Students, supra, 24 Cal.3d 458, 490-491, for example, the

plaintiffs contended that an employer’s alleged policy of discriminating against

homosexuals constituted discrimination on the basis of “sex” within the meaning

of California’s fair employment practice statute.56 In support of this contention,

the plaintiffs argued that “discrimination against homosexuals is in effect

discrimination based on the gender of the homosexual’s partner” (24 Cal.3d. at


56

At the time the Gay Law Students decision was rendered, the applicable

California statute prohibited employment discrimination on the basis of sex, but did
not explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of homosexuality or sexual
orientation. (See Gay Law Students, supra, 24 Cal.3d 458, 489.) California’s
current employment discrimination statute explicitly prohibits discrimination either
on the basis of sex or on the basis of sexual orientation. (Gov. Code, § 12940,
subds. (a)-(d), (j).)

87

p. 490), and “analogizing to a series of racial discrimination cases” including

Loving v. Virginia, supra, 388 U.S. 1 (24 Cal.3d at p. 490 & fn. 18), the plaintiffs

asserted that “such discrimination is discrimination on the basis of sex.” (Id. at p.

490.) Although this court recognized in Gay Law Students that “as a semantic

argument” the plaintiffs’ contention might have some appeal (ibid.), we

nonetheless squarely rejected the claim, explaining that the statute proscribing

“discrimination on the basis of ‘sex,’ did not contemplate discrimination against

homosexuals.” (Ibid.) In reaching this conclusion, we relied not only on the

circumstance that the identical statutory prohibition against sex discrimination in

employment set forth in title VII of the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act uniformly

had been interpreted as not encompassing discrimination on the basis of sexual

orientation or homosexuality, but also on the circumstance that the agency charged

with administering the California statute consistently had interpreted the

prohibition of sex discrimination as inapplicable to claims of discrimination based

upon sexual orientation. (Gay Law Students, supra, at pp. 490-491; accord, e.g.,

In re Maki (1943) 56 Cal.App.2d 635, 639-640 [ordinance forbidding

administration of massage to a person of the opposite sex did not violate state

constitutional provision mandating that no person shall be disqualified from

pursuing any lawful vocation “ ‘on account of sex’ ”].)

In the three decades that have elapsed since our decision in Gay Law

Students, supra, 24 Cal.3d 458, judicial decisions in a variety of contexts similarly

have concluded that statutes, policies, or public or private actions that treat the

genders equally but that accord differential treatment either to a couple based upon

whether they are persons of the same sex or of opposite sexes, or to a person based

upon whether he or she generally is sexually attracted to persons of the same

gender rather than the opposite gender, do not constitute instances of sex

discrimination (either within the meaning of statutory prohibitions on sex

88

discrimination or for purposes of the equal protection clauses or equal rights

amendments contained within the federal and various state constitutions), but

rather are more properly viewed as instances of differential treatment on the basis

of sexual orientation and accordingly should be evaluated on that ground. (See,

e.g., Medina v. Income Support Div., New Mexico (10th Cir. 2005) 413 F.3d 1131,

1134-1135 [workplace harassment]; DeSantis v. Pacific Tel. & Tel. Co. (9th Cir.

1979) 608 F.2d 327, 329-330 [termination of employment]; Commonwealth v.

Wasson (Ky. 1992) 842 S.W.2d 487, 499-502 [statute prohibiting “deviate sexual

intercourse with another person of the same sex”]; State v. Walsh (Mo. 1986) 713

S.W.2d 508, 510-511 [same]; Conaway v. Deane, supra, 932 A.2d 571, 585-602,

605-616 [marriage]; Lewis v. Harris, supra, 908 A.2d 196, 212-215 [marriage];

Hernandez v. Robles, supra, 855 N.E.2d 1, 10-11 [marriage]; Baker v. State,

supra, 744 A.2d 864, 880, fn. 13 [marriage]; Andersen v. King County, supra, 138

P.3d 963, 974-976, 988-990 (lead opn. of Madsen, J.); id. at pp. 997-998, 1010

(conc. opn. of Johnson (J.M.), J.) [marriage]; In re Kandu (Bankr. W.D.Wn. 2004)

315 B.R. 123, 142-144 [marriage]; accord, Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore

Services, Inc. (1998) 523 U.S. 75, 80 [in determining whether same-sex

harassment in the workplace constitutes “discrimination because of sex” within the

meaning of title VII, “ ‘[t]he critical issue . . . is whether members of one sex are

exposed to disadvantageous terms or conditions of employment to which members

of the other sex are not exposed’ ”]; Lawrence v. Texas, supra, 539 U.S. 558, 581

(conc. opn. of O’Connor, J.) [statute that makes sodomy a crime only if a person

engages in such conduct “ ‘with another individual of the same sex’ ” treats

persons differently on the basis of their “same-sex sexual orientation” and, for

equal protection purposes, is appropriately analyzed on that ground]; see also

C-249/96, Grant v. South-West Trains (Eur. Ct. of Justice) 1998 E.C.R. I-261,

pars. 24-28, 37-47 [“discrimination on the basis of sex” prohibited by art. 119 of

89

the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community “does not cover

discrimination based on sexual orientation”].)57


57

As illustrated by the numerous authorities cited in the text, virtually all of the

decisions that have addressed this issue have rejected plaintiffs’ contention that a
statute that treats same-sex couples differently from opposite-sex couples
constitutes sex discrimination, although we are aware that one state court decision
and a number of separate concurring and/or dissenting opinions filed in other recent
state court marriage decisions have found such differential treatment to constitute
sex discrimination for purposes of the equal protection clause or equal rights
amendment contained in the applicable state constitution. (See, e.g., Baehr v.
Lewin
, supra, 852 P.2d 44, 60 (plur. opn. of Levinson, J.), endorsed by a majority
of justices on motion for reconsideration or clarification, and further explicated in
Baehr v. Miike (Haw. 1999) 1999 Haw. Lexis 391, p. *6, fn. 1 [explaining that the
history of Hawaii’s state equal protection clause indicates the framers of that
provision “expressly declared their intention that a proscription against
discrimination based on sexual orientation be subsumed within the clause’s
prohibition against discrimination based on sex”]; Conaway v. Deane, supra, 932
A.2d 571, 677-686 (dis. opn. of Battaglia, J.); Goodridge v. Dept. of Pub. Health,
supra, 798 N.E.2d 941, 971-972 (conc. opn. of Greaney, J.); Hernandez v. Robles,
supra, 855 N.E.2d 1, 29-30 (dis. opn. of Kaye, C.J.); Baker v. State, supra, 744
A.2d 864, 904-912 (conc. & dis. opn. of Johnson, J.); Andersen v. King County,
supra, 138 P.3d 963, 1037-1039 (dis. opn. of Bridge, J.).) At the same time, a
number of these separate opinions also have concluded that the distinction in
treatment before the court should be viewed, as well, as discrimination on the basis
of sexual orientation. (See, e.g., Hernandez v. Robles, supra, 855 N.E.2d 1, 27-29
(dis. opn. of Kaye, C.J.); Andersen v. King County, supra, 138 P.3d 963, 1029-1032
(dis. opn. of Bridge, J.).)

For the reasons explained below (post, pp. 91-93), we conclude that, for

purposes of determining the applicable standard of review under the California
equal protection clause, the distinction drawn by the marriage statutes between
opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples is more appropriately analyzed as a
difference in treatment on the basis of sexual orientation rather than as sex
discrimination. Accordingly, the pertinent question is which standard of review
applies under the California equal protection clause to statutory provisions that
discriminate between individuals or couples on the basis of sexual orientation. We
address that issue in the next part of this opinion. (Post, pp. 93-101.)

90

Although plaintiffs further contend that the difference in treatment

prescribed by the relevant statutes should be treated as sex discrimination for equal

protection purposes because the differential treatment reflects illegitimate gender-

related stereotyping based on the view that men are attracted to women and

women are attracted to men, this argument again improperly conflates two

concepts — discrimination on the basis of sex, and discrimination on the basis of

sexual orientation —that traditionally have been viewed as distinct phenomena.

(See, e.g., Gov. Code, § 12940, subds. (a), (b), (c), (d), (j) [prohibiting, separately,

employment discrimination (or harassment) on the basis of “sex” and on the basis

of “sexual orientation”]; Civ. Code, § 51, subd. (b) [guaranteeing “[a]ll persons

. . . no matter what their sex . . . or sexual orientation . . . the full and equal

accommodations . . . in all business establishments”].) Under plaintiffs’ argument,

discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation always would constitute a subset

of discrimination on the basis of sex.

For purposes of determining the applicable standard of judicial review

under the California equal protection clause, we conclude that discrimination on

the basis of sexual orientation cannot appropriately be viewed as a subset of, or

subsumed within, discrimination on the basis of sex. The seminal California

decisions that address the question of which equal protection standard should

apply to statutory classifications that discriminate on the basis of sex or gender,

and that explain why under the California Constitution the strict scrutiny standard

is applicable to such classifications, look to (1) whether a person’s gender (rather

than sexual orientation) does or does not bear a relation to one’s ability to perform

or contribute to society, and (2) the long history of societal and legal

discrimination against women (rather than against gay individuals). (See, e.g.,

Sail’er Inn, supra, 5 Cal.3d 1, 18-20; Arp v. Worker’s Comp. Appeals Bd., supra,

19 Cal.3d 395, 404-405.) Each of these seminal California decisions addressed

91

instances in which the applicable statutes favored one gender over another, or

prescribed different treatment for one gender as compared to the other based upon

a stereotype relating to one particular gender, rather than instances in which a

statute treated the genders equally but imposed differential treatment based upon

whether or not an individual was of the same gender as his or her sexual partner.

(See, e.g., Sail’er Inn, supra, 5 Cal.3d 1, 21 [statute restricting women’s access to

the occupation of bartender “appears to be based upon notions of what is a

‘ladylike’ or proper pursuit for a woman in our society rather than any

ascertainable evil effects of permitting women to labor behind . . . bars”]; Arp,

supra, 19 Cal.3d 395, 405-406 [conclusive statutory presumption that all widows

were totally economically dependent upon their deceased husband “was the

product of . . . ‘archaic and overbroad’ role stereotypes” and “clearly . . . is

outmoded in a society where more often than not a family’s standard of living

depends upon the financial contributions of both marital partners”].) In light of

the reasoning underlying these rulings, we conclude that the type of discrimination

or differential treatment between same-sex and opposite-sex couples reflected in

the challenged marriage statutes cannot fairly be viewed as embodying the same

type of discrimination at issue in the California decisions establishing that the

strict scrutiny standard applies to statutes that discriminate on the basis of sex.58


58

Relying upon a statement appearing in the legislative history of the 1977

statute that added the phrase “between a man and a woman” to section 300 (see
Assem. Com. on Judiciary, Digest of Assem. Bill No. 607 (1977-1978 Reg. Sess.)
Apr. 14, 1977, pp. 1-2), plaintiffs and a number of amici curiae additionally
contend that the statutory limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples is based
upon the outdated stereotype of a marriage comprised of a stay-at-home mother and
a breadwinner father, and for that reason should be viewed as reflective of sex
discrimination. Neither the 1977 legislation nor any other provision of California
law, however, purports to limit the role of either partner in a marriage, and the bulk
of the legislative history of the 1977 enactment — a measure that, as noted above

(footnote continued on next page)

92



Accordingly, we conclude that in the context of California’s equal

protection clause, the differential treatment prescribed by the relevant statutes

cannot properly be found to constitute discrimination on the basis of sex, and thus

that the statutory classification embodied in the marriage statutes is not subject to

strict scrutiny on that ground.

B

Plaintiffs next maintain that even if the applicable California statutes do not

discriminate on the basis of sex or gender, they do so on the basis of sexual

orientation, and that statutes that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation

should be subject to strict scrutiny under the California Constitution. In response,

defendants assert the marriage statutes do not discriminate on the basis of sexual

orientation, and, even if they do, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation

should not trigger strict scrutiny.

In arguing that the marriage statutes do not discriminate on the basis of

sexual orientation, defendants rely upon the circumstance that these statutes, on

their face, do not refer explicitly to sexual orientation and do not prohibit gay


(footnote continued from previous page)

(ante, p. 26), was introduced at the behest of the County Clerks’ Association of
California — indicates that the legislation primarily was intended simply to clarify
that the existing California marriage statutes retained the historic definition of
marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Furthermore, the ballot arguments
pertaining to Proposition 22 indicate that section 308.5, which independently limits
marriage to the union of a man and a woman, was intended to ensure that the
traditional definition of marriage would be retained, and these arguments do not
contain any suggestion that the initiative measure was grounded in an outdated
stereotypical view of the appropriate roles of men and women in a marriage. Under
these circumstances, we cannot agree with plaintiffs’ contention that under the
theory they advance, the relevant provisions of sections 300 and 308.5 properly
should be viewed as embodying sex discrimination.

93

individuals from marrying a person of the opposite sex. Defendants contend that

under these circumstances, the marriage statutes should not be viewed as directly

classifying or discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation but at most should

be viewed as having a “disparate impact” on gay persons.

In our view, the statutory provisions restricting marriage to a man and a

woman cannot be understood as having merely a disparate impact on gay persons,

but instead properly must be viewed as directly classifying and prescribing distinct

treatment on the basis of sexual orientation. By limiting marriage to opposite-sex

couples, the marriage statutes, realistically viewed, operate clearly and directly to

impose different treatment on gay individuals because of their sexual orientation.

By definition, gay individuals are persons who are sexually attracted to persons of

the same sex and thus, if inclined to enter into a marriage relationship, would

choose to marry a person of their own sex or gender.59 A statute that limits


59

As explained in the amicus curiae brief filed by a number of leading mental

health organizations, including the American Psychological Association and the
American Psychiatric Association: “Sexual orientation is commonly discussed as a
characteristic of the individual, like biological sex, gender identity, or age. This
perspective is incomplete because sexual orientation is always defined in relational
terms and necessarily involves relationships with other individuals. Sexual acts and
romantic attractions are categorized as homosexual or heterosexual according to the
biological sex of the individuals involved in them, relative to each other. Indeed, it
is by acting — or desiring to act — with another person that individuals express
their heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality. . . . Thus, sexual orientation is
integrally linked to the intimate personal relationships that human beings form with
others to meet their deeply felt needs for love, attachment, and intimacy. In
addition to sexual behavior, these bonds encompass nonsexual physical affection
between partners, shared goals and values, mutual support, and ongoing
commitment. [¶] Consequently, sexual orientation is not merely a personal
characteristic that can be defined in isolation. Rather, one’s sexual orientation
defines the universe of persons with whom one is likely to find the satisfying and
fulfilling relationships that, for many individuals, comprise an essential component
of personal identity.”

94

marriage to a union of persons of opposite sexes, thereby placing marriage outside

the reach of couples of the same sex, unquestionably imposes different treatment

on the basis of sexual orientation. In our view, it is sophistic to suggest that this

conclusion is avoidable by reason of the circumstance that the marriage statutes

permit a gay man or a lesbian to marry someone of the opposite sex, because

making such a choice would require the negation of the person’s sexual

orientation. Just as a statute that restricted marriage only to couples of the same

sex would discriminate against heterosexual persons on the basis of their

heterosexual orientation, the current California statutes realistically must be

viewed as discriminating against gay persons on the basis of their homosexual

orientation. (Accord, Johnson Controls, Inc. v. Fair Employment and Housing

Com. (1990) 218 Cal.App.3d 517, 533, 541, fn. 7.)

Having concluded that the California marriage statutes treat persons

differently on the basis of sexual orientation, we must determine whether sexual

orientation should be considered a “suspect classification” under the California

equal protection clause, so that statutes drawing a distinction on this basis are

subject to strict scrutiny. As pointed out by the parties defending the marriage

statutes, the great majority of out-of-state decisions that have addressed this issue

have concluded that, unlike statutes that impose differential treatment on the basis

of an individual’s race, sex, religion, or national origin, statutes that treat persons

differently because of their sexual orientation should not be viewed as

constitutionally suspect and thus should not be subjected to strict scrutiny.60 The


60

See, for example, Baker v. State, supra, 744 A.2d 864, 878, footnote 10, and

cases cited therein; see also Standhardt v. Superior Court, supra, 77 P.3d 451, 456-
457; Hernandez v. Robles, supra, 855 N.E.2d 1, 9-10; Andersen v. King County,
supra, 138 P.3d 963, 975-976. One intermediate appellate court in Oregon held
that sexual orientation constitutes a suspect classification for the purpose of that

(footnote continued on next page)

95

issue is one of first impression in California,61 however, and for the reasons

discussed below we conclude that sexual orientation should be viewed as a suspect

classification for purposes of the California Constitution’s equal protection clause

and that statutes that treat persons differently because of their sexual orientation

should be subjected to strict scrutiny under this constitutional provision.

In addressing this issue, the majority in the Court of Appeal stated: “For a

statutory classification to be considered ‘suspect’ for equal protection purposes,

generally three requirements must be met. The defining characteristic must (1) be

based upon an ‘immutable trait’; (2) ‘bear[] no relation to [a person’s] ability to

perform or contribute to society’; and (3) be associated with a ‘stigma of


(footnote continued from previous page)

state’s equal protection clause (see Tanner v. OHSU (Or.Ct.App. 1998) 971 P.2d
435, 446-447), and, as noted above, a number of justices of other state supreme
courts recently have similarly concluded that sexual orientation properly should be
considered a suspect classification for purposes of analysis under their state equal
protection clauses. (See Hernandez v. Robles, supra, 855 N.E.2d 1, 27-29 (dis.
opn. of Kaye, C.J.); Andersen v. King County, supra, 138 P.3d 963, 1029-1032
(conc. opn. of Bridge, J.); see also Egan v. Canada (Can. 1995) 2 S.C.R. 513, 528-
529, & 536 [¶¶ 5 & 22] [finding sexual orientation to be analogous to enumerated
classifications, such as race or sex, that are constitutionally suspect under the equal
protection clause of the Canadian Charter].)

61

In Citizens for Responsible Behavior v. Superior Court (1991) 1 Cal.App.4th

1013, the court held that a proposed ordinance that would have repealed existing
ordinances relating to gay rights and required voter approval for any future
ordinances on the subject was invalid under the rational basis equal protection
standard, and thus found no need to determine whether heightened scrutiny should
be applied. (1 Cal.App.4th at p. 1026, fn. 8.) In Children’s Hospital & Medical
Center v. Bontá
(2002) 97 Cal.App.4th 740, 769, the appellate court, in dicta,
referred in an off-hand comment to “suspect classifications, such as race or sexual
orientation,” but the court cited no authority addressing the question whether sexual
orientation is a suspect classification, and this brief reference clearly was not
intended to have (and does not have) any precedential significance.

96

inferiority and second class citizenship,’ manifested by the group’s history of legal

and social disabilities. (Sail’er Inn, Inc. v. Kirby, supra, 5 Cal.3d at pp. 18-19.)

While the latter two requirements would seem to be readily satisfied in the case of

gays and lesbians, the first is more controversial.” Concluding that “whether

sexual orientation is immutable presents a factual question” as to which an

adequate record had not been presented in the trial court, the Court of Appeal

ultimately held that “[l]acking guidance from our Supreme Court or decisions

from our sister Courts of Appeal,” the court would review the marriage statutes

under the rational basis, rather than the strict scrutiny, standard.

Past California cases fully support the Court of Appeal’s conclusion that

sexual orientation is a characteristic (1) that bears no relation to a person’s ability

to perform or contribute to society (see, e.g., Gay Law Students, supra, 24 Cal.3d

458, 488), and (2) that is associated with a stigma of inferiority and second-class

citizenship, manifested by the group’s history of legal and social disabilities. (See,

e.g., People v. Garcia (2000) 77 Cal.App.4th 1269 [“Lesbians and gay men . . .

share a history of persecution comparable to that of Blacks and women” (id., at

p. 1276); “Outside of racial and religious minorities, we can think of no group

which has suffered such ‘pernicious and sustained hostility’ [citation], and such

‘immediate and severe opprobrium’ [citation], as homosexuals” (id., at p. 1276)].)

We disagree, however, with the Court of Appeal’s conclusion that it is

appropriate to reject sexual orientation as a suspect classification, in applying the

California Constitution’s equal protection clause, on the ground that there is a

question as to whether this characteristic is or is not “immutable.” Although we

noted in Sail’er Inn, supra, 5 Cal.3d 1, that generally a person’s gender is viewed

as an immutable trait (id. at p. 18), immutability is not invariably required in order

for a characteristic to be considered a suspect classification for equal protection

purposes. California cases establish that a person’s religion is a suspect

97

classification for equal protection purposes (see, e.g., Owens v. City of Signal Hill

(1984) 154 Cal.App.3d 123, 128; Williams v. Kapilow & Son, Inc. (1980) 105

Cal.App.3d 156, 161-162), and one’s religion, of course, is not immutable but is a

matter over which an individual has control. (See also Raffaelli v. Committee of

Bar Examiners (1972) 7 Cal.3d 288, 292 [alienage treated as a suspect

classification notwithstanding circumstance that alien can become a citizen].)

Because a person’s sexual orientation is so integral an aspect of one’s identity, it is

not appropriate to require a person to repudiate or change his or her sexual

orientation in order to avoid discriminatory treatment. (Accord, Hernandez-

Montiel v. I.N.S. (9th Cir. 2000) 225 F.3d 1084, 1093 [“[s]exual orientation and

sexual identity . . . are so fundamental to one’s identity that a person should not be

required to abandon them”]; Egan v. Canada, supra, 2 S.C.R. 513, 528 [“whether

or not sexual orientation is based on biological or physiological factors, which

may be a matter of some controversy, it is a deeply personal characteristic that is

either unchangeable or changeable only at unacceptable personal costs”].)

In his briefing before this court, the Attorney General does not maintain

that sexual orientation fails to satisfy the three requirements for a suspect

classification discussed by the Court of Appeal, but instead argues that a fourth

requirement should be imposed before a characteristic is considered a

constitutionally suspect basis for classification for equal protection purposes —

namely, that “a ‘suspect’ classification is appropriately recognized only for

minorities who are unable to use the political process to address their needs.” The

Attorney General’s brief asserts that “[s]ince the gay and lesbian community in

California is obviously able to wield political power in defense of its interests, this

Court should not hold that sexual orientation constitutes a suspect classification.”

Although some California decisions in discussing suspect classifications

have referred to a group’s “political powerlessness” (see, e.g. Raffaelli v.

98

Committee of Bar Examiners, supra, 7 Cal.3d 288, 292), our cases have not

identified a group’s current political powerlessness as a necessary prerequisite for

treatment as a suspect class.62 Indeed, if a group’s current political powerlessness

were a prerequisite to a characteristic’s being considered a constitutionally suspect

basis for differential treatment, it would be impossible to justify the numerous

decisions that continue to treat sex, race, and religion as suspect classifications.63

Instead, our decisions make clear that the most important factors in deciding

whether a characteristic should be considered a constitutionally suspect basis for

classification are whether the class of persons who exhibit a certain characteristic

historically has been subjected to invidious and prejudicial treatment, and whether

society now recognizes that the characteristic in question generally bears no

relationship to the individual’s ability to perform or contribute to society. Thus,

“courts must look closely at classifications based on that characteristic lest

outdated social stereotypes result in invidious laws or practices.” (Sail’er Inn,


62

In Bowens v. Superior Court (1991) 1 Cal.4th 36, 42, in discussing the

factors that are relevant under the federal equal protection clause to the issue of
suspect classification, the court explained: “The determination of whether a suspect
class exists focuses on whether ‘[t]he system of alleged discrimination and the class
it defines have [any] of the traditional indicia of suspectness: [such as a class]
saddled with such disabilities, or subjected to such a history of purposeful unequal
treatment, or relegated to such a position of political powerlessness as to command
extraordinary protection from the majoritarian political process.’ ” (Quoting San
Antonio School Dist. v. Rodriguez
(1973) 411 U.S. 1, 28; bracketed material added
in Bowens; italics added.)

63

In Frontiero v. Richardson (1973) 411 U.S. 677, 687-688, the lead opinion

of Justice Brennan pointed to the enactment of laws prohibiting sex discrimination
as confirming that a class of individuals had been subjected to widespread
discrimination in the past and thus as supporting the need for heightened judicial
scrutiny of statutory provisions that impose differential treatment on the basis of
such a characteristic.

99

supra, 5 Cal.3d 1, 18, italics added; see, e.g., Arp v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd.,

supra, 19 Cal.3d 395, 404-406.) This rationale clearly applies to statutory

classifications that mandate differential treatment on the basis of sexual

orientation.

In sum, we conclude that statutes imposing differential treatment on the

basis of sexual orientation should be viewed as constitutionally suspect under the

California Constitution’s equal protection clause.

The Attorney General argues that even if sexual orientation is viewed as a

suspect classification and statutes that classify persons on such a basis are subject

to heightened review, this court should apply an intermediate scrutiny standard of

review (comparable to the standard applied by the United States Supreme Court to

discriminatory classifications based on sex or illegitimacy (see Clark v. Jeter,

supra, 486 U.S. 456, 461)), rather than strict scrutiny, to statutes that draw

distinctions between persons on the basis of their sexual orientation.64 In

enforcing the California Constitution’s equal protection clause, however, past

California cases have not applied an intermediate scrutiny standard of review to

classifications involving any suspect (or quasi-suspect) characteristic. Unlike

decisions applying the federal equal protection clause, California cases continue to

review, under strict scrutiny rather than intermediate scrutiny, those statutes that

impose differential treatment on the basis of sex or gender. (See, e.g., Catholic


64

In describing its intermediate scrutiny standard in Clark v. Jeter, supra, 486

U.S. 456, 461, the high court explained: “To withstand intermediate scrutiny, a
statutory classification must be substantially related to an important government
objective.” By contrast, under the strict scrutiny standard, the state bears the
burden of demonstrating that the disparate treatment imposed by a statute is
necessary to serve a compelling state interest. (See, e.g., Hernandez, supra, 41
Cal.4th 279, 299.)

100

Charities of Sacramento, Inc. v. Superior Court, supra, 32 Cal.4th 527, 564; see

also Darces v. Woods (1984) 35 Cal.3d 871, 888-893 [applying strict scrutiny

rather than the intermediate scrutiny standard that was applied in a related federal

decision].)

There is no persuasive basis for applying to statutes that classify persons on

the basis of the suspect classification of sexual orientation a standard less rigorous

than that applied to statutes that classify on the basis of the suspect classifications

of gender, race, or religion. Because sexual orientation, like gender, race, or

religion, is a characteristic that frequently has been the basis for biased and

improperly stereotypical treatment and that generally bears no relation to an

individual’s ability to perform or contribute to society, it is appropriate for courts

to evaluate with great care and with considerable skepticism any statute that

embodies such a classification. The strict scrutiny standard therefore is applicable

to statutes that impose differential treatment on the basis of sexual orientation.

C

Plaintiffs additionally contend that the strict scrutiny standard applies here

not only because the statutes in question impose differential treatment between

individuals on the basis of the suspect classification of sexual orientation, but also

because the classification drawn by the statutes impinges upon a same-sex

couple’s fundamental, constitutionally protected privacy interest, creating unequal

and detrimental consequences for same-sex couples and their children.

As discussed above (ante, pp. 80-82), one of the core elements embodied in

the state constitutional right to marry is the right of an individual and a couple to

have their own official family relationship accorded respect and dignity equal to

that accorded the family relationship of other couples. Even when the state affords

substantive legal rights and benefits to a couple’s family relationship that are

comparable to the rights and benefits afforded to other couples, the state’s

101

assignment of a different name to the couple’s relationship poses a risk that the

different name itself will have the effect of denying such couple’s relationship the

equal respect and dignity to which the couple is constitutionally entitled. Plaintiffs

contend that in the present context, the different nomenclature prescribed by the

current California statutes properly must be understood as having just such a

constitutionally suspect effect.

We agree with plaintiffs’ contention in this regard. Although in some

contexts the establishment of separate institutions or structures to remedy the past

denial of rights or benefits has been found to be constitutionally permissible,65 and

although it may be possible to conceive of some circumstances in which

assignment of the name “marriage” to one category of family relationship and of a

name other than marriage to another category of family relationship would not

likely be stigmatizing or raise special constitutional concerns,66 for a number of


65

For example, the establishment and maintenance of separate women’s

collegiate athletic teams to address the long-standing discrimination against women
in the allocation of athletic resources has been found to be constitutionally valid.
(See, e.g., O’Connor v. Board of Education of School Dist. No. 23 (7th Cir. 1981)
645 F.2d 578, 582; Force by Force v. Pierce City R-VI School Dist. (W.D.Mo.
1983) 570 F.Supp. 1020, 1026.) Courts similarly have held it is constitutionally
permissible for a state to remedy the constitutional problem resulting from the
inability of indigent criminal defendants to retain counsel by establishing a separate
public defender’s office through which such defendants are represented by
government-selected attorneys, instead of by providing funds to such defendants
with which they can obtain their own self-selected attorneys. (See, e.g., People v.
Miller
(1972) 7 Cal.3d 562, 574; People v. Hughes (1961) 57 Cal.2d 89, 97-99.)

66

One such conceivable (albeit unlikely) example would be a statutory scheme

that designated all formal family unions as a “marriage” during the first five years
of the union’s existence, and thereafter renamed the relationship, for official
purposes, as an “enduring union,” and provided additional benefits to the couple for
so long as the enduring union remained intact. In this setting, the withholding of
the official designation “marriage” to all long-term formal relationships would not

(footnote continued on next page)

102

reasons we conclude that in the present context, affording same-sex couples access

only to the separate institution of domestic partnership, and denying such couples

access to the established institution of marriage, properly must be viewed as

impinging upon the right of those couples to have their family relationship

accorded respect and dignity equal to that accorded the family relationship of

opposite-sex couples.

First, 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. Thus, it is apparent that

affording access to this designation exclusively to opposite-sex couples, while

providing same-sex couples access to only a novel alternative designation,

realistically must be viewed as constituting significantly unequal treatment to

same-sex couples. In this regard, plaintiffs persuasively invoke by analogy the

decisions of the United States Supreme Court finding inadequate a state’s creation

of a separate law school for Black students rather than granting such students

access to the University of Texas Law School (Sweatt v. Painter (1950) 339 U.S.

629, 634),67 and a state’s founding of a separate military program for women

rather than admitting women to the Virginia Military Institute (United States v.

(footnote continued from previous page)

appear to be stigmatizing or necessarily to warrant, in itself, application of the strict
scrutiny standard.

67

In Sweatt v. Painter, supra, 339 U.S. 629, the high court stated in this

regard: “What is more important, the University of Texas Law School possesses to
a far greater degree those qualities which are incapable of objective measurement
[such as] . . . standing in the community, traditions and prestige. It is difficult to
believe that one who had a free choice between these law schools would consider
the question close.” (339 U.S. at p. 634.)

103

Virginia (1996) 518 U.S. 515, 555-556). As plaintiffs maintain, these high court

decisions demonstrate that even when the state grants ostensibly equal benefits to

a previously excluded class through the creation of a new institution, the

intangible symbolic differences that remain often are constitutionally significant.

Second, 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. As the Canada Supreme Court observed in an analogous

context: “One factor which may demonstrate that legislation that treats a claimant

differently has the effect of demeaning the claimant’s dignity is the existence of

pre-existing disadvantage, stereotyping, prejudice, or vulnerability experienced by

the individual or group at issue. . . . ‘ . . . It is logical to conclude that, in most

cases, further differential treatment will contribute to the perpetuation or

promotion of their unfair social characterization, and will have a more severe

impact upon them, since they are already vulnerable.’ ” (M. v. H. [1999] 2 S.C.R.

3, 54-55 [¶ 68].)

Third, 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

104

relationship of marriage. (See generally N. J. Civil Union Review Com., First

Interim Rep. (Feb. 19, 2008) pp. 6-18 <http://www.nj.gov/oag/dcr/downloads/1st-

InterimReport-CURC.pdf> [as of May 15, 2008].)

Under these circumstances, we conclude that the distinction drawn by the

current California statutes between the designation of the family relationship

available to opposite-sex couples and the designation available to same-sex

couples impinges upon the fundamental interest of same-sex couples in having

their official family relationship accorded dignity and respect equal to that

conferred upon the family relationship of opposite-sex couples.

In addition, plaintiffs’ briefs disclose a further way in which the different

designations established by the current statutes impinge upon the constitutionally

protected privacy interest of same-sex couples. Plaintiffs point out that one

consequence of the coexistence of two parallel types of familial relationship is

that — in the numerous everyday social, employment, and governmental settings

in which an individual is asked whether he or she “is married or single” — an

individual who is a domestic partner and who accurately responds to the question

by disclosing that status will (as a realistic matter) be disclosing his or her

homosexual orientation, even if he or she would rather not do so under the

circumstances and even if that information is totally irrelevant in the setting in

question.68 Because the constitutional right of privacy ordinarily would protect an

individual from having to disclose his or her sexual orientation under


68

Although the disclosure that an individual is a registered domestic partner

does not necessarily mean that he or she is in a same-sex relationship, because
opposite-sex couples comprised of at least one partner who is more than 62 years of
age may register as domestic partners, in most instances the revelation that one is a
domestic partner will be understood (accurately) to signify that the individual is
gay.

105

circumstances in which that information is irrelevant (see, e.g., People v. Garcia,

supra, 77 Cal.App.4th 1269, 1280; Urbaniak v. Newton (1991) 226 Cal.App.3d

1128, 1140-1141), the existence of two separate family designations — one

available only to opposite-sex couples and the other to same-sex couples —

impinges upon this privacy interest, and may expose gay individuals to detrimental

treatment by those who continue to harbor prejudices that have been rejected by

California society at large.

For all of these reasons, we conclude that the classifications and differential

treatment embodied in the relevant statutes significantly impinge upon the

fundamental interests of same-sex couples, and accordingly provide a further

reason requiring that the statutory provisions properly be evaluated under the strict

scrutiny standard of review.

D

As already explained, in circumstances, as here, in which the strict scrutiny

standard of review applies, the state bears a heavy burden of justification. In order

to satisfy that standard, the state must demonstrate not simply that there is a

rational, constitutionally legitimate interest that supports the differential treatment

at issue, but instead that the state interest is a constitutionally compelling one that

justifies the disparate treatment prescribed by the statute in question. (See, e.g.,

Darces v. Wood, supra, 35 Cal.3d 871, 893-895.) Furthermore, unlike instances in

which the rational basis test applies, the state does not meet its burden of

justification under the strict scrutiny standard merely by showing that the

classification established by the statute is rationally or reasonably related to such a

compelling state interest. Instead, the state must demonstrate that the distinctions

drawn by the statute (or statutory scheme) are necessary to further that interest.

(See, e.g., Ramirez v. Brown (1973) 9 Cal.3d 199, 207-212.)

106



In the present case, the question before us is whether the state has a

constitutionally compelling interest in reserving the designation of marriage only

for opposite-sex couples and excluding same-sex couples from access to that

designation, and whether this statutory restriction is necessary to serve a

compelling state interest. In their briefing before this court, various defendants

have advanced different contentions in support of the current statutes, and we

discuss each of these arguments.

The Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund and the Campaign initially contend

that retention of the traditional definition of marriage not only constitutes a

compelling state interest, but that the Legislature (and the people in adopting an

initiative statute) had no choice but to retain this definition, because according to

these defendants the California Constitution itself mandates this limitation on the

meaning of the term “marriage.” The Fund and the Campaign assert that the

common law definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman is

constitutionally enshrined in the California Constitution by virtue of language in

the 1849 and 1879 Constitutions that employed the terms “marriage,” “wife,” and

“husband” in providing constitutional protection for separate-property rights,69


69

As set forth ante, page 23, footnote 12, article XI, section 14 of the California

Constitution of 1849 provided in full: “All property, both real and personal, of the
wife, owned or claimed by marriage, and that acquired afterwards by gift, devise, or
descent, shall be her separate property; and laws shall be passed more clearly defining
the rights of the wife, in relation as well to her separate property, as to that held in
common with her husband. Laws shall also be passed providing for the registration of
the wife’s separate property.”


Article XX, section 8 of the California Constitution of 1879 contained a similar

provision, stating: “All property, real and personal, owned by either husband or wife
before marriage, and that acquired by either of them afterwards by gift, devise, or
descent, shall be their separate property.”


The current analogous provision of the California Constitution is contained

(footnote continued on next page)

107

thereby precluding the Legislature or the people through the statutory initiative

power from modifying the current statutes to permit same-sex couples to marry.

There is no indication, however, that the constitutional provisions were intended to

place the common law understanding of marriage beyond legislative control (see

Dow v. Gould & Curry Silver Mining Co. (1867) 31 Cal. 629, 640 [“the laws in

force at the time of the adoption of the Constitution were continued in force until

altered or repealed by the Legislature”]), and throughout this state’s history the

Legislature, of course, has effected numerous fundamental changes in the

institution of marriage, dramatically altering its nature from how it existed at

common law. As discussed above, because section 308.5 is an initiative statute,

any action by the Legislature redefining marriage to include same-sex couples

would require a confirming vote of approval by the electorate (see, ante, pp. 30-

36), but the California Constitution imposes no constitutional bar to a legislative

revision of the marriage statutes consistent with the requirement of voter approval.

(Accord, In re Mana (1918) 178 Cal. 213, 214-216 [holding that a statute

authorizing women to sit as jurors did not violate the defendant’s constitutional

right to trial by jury, even though, at common law, a jury was composed only of

men].)

In contrast to the position advanced by the Proposition 22 Legal Defense

Fund and the Campaign, the Attorney General and the Governor recognize that the

California Constitution does not define or limit the marriage relationship to a

union of a man and a woman. These officials acknowledge that the Legislature

(consistent with the constitutional limitations imposed by the initiative provisions)

(footnote continued from previous page)

in article I, section 21, and since 1970 has provided: “Property owned before marriage
or acquired during marriage by gift, will, or inheritance is separate property.”

108

or the people (through the exercise of the initiative power) have the authority to

revise the current marriage statutes to permit same-sex couples to marry. The

Attorney General and the Governor maintain, however, that because the institution

of marriage traditionally (both in California and throughout most of the world) has

been limited to a union between a man and a woman, any change in that status

necessarily is a matter solely for the legislative process. Thus, they suggest that

the separation-of-powers doctrine precludes a court from modifying the traditional

definition of marriage.

Although, as noted at the outset of this opinion (ante, at pp. 4-5), we agree

with the Attorney General and the Governor that the separation-of-powers doctrine

precludes a court from “redefining” marriage on the basis of the court’s view that

public policy or the public interest would be better served by such a revision, we

disagree with the Attorney General and the Governor to the extent they suggest

that the traditional or long-standing nature of the current statutory definition of

marriage exempts the statutory provisions embodying that definition from the

constraints imposed by the California Constitution, or that the separation-of-

powers doctrine precludes a court from determining that constitutional question.

On the contrary, under “the constitutional theory of ‘checks and balances’ that the

separation-of-powers doctrine is intended to serve” (Superior Court v. County of

Mendocino (1996) 13 Cal.4th 45, 53), a court has an obligation to enforce the

limitations that the California Constitution imposes upon legislative measures, and

a court would shirk the responsibility it owes to each member of the public were it

to consider such statutory provisions to be insulated from judicial review.

As Chief Justice Poritz of the New Jersey Supreme Court observed in her

concurring and dissenting opinion in Lewis v. Harris, supra, 908 A.2d 196:

“Perhaps the political branches will right the wrong presented in this case by

amending the marriage statutes to recognize fully the fundamental right of same-

109

sex couples to marry. That possibility does not relieve this Court of its

responsibility to decide constitutional questions, no matter how difficult. . . . [¶]

The question of access to civil marriage by same-sex couples ‘is not a matter of

social policy but of constitutional interpretation.’ [Citation.] It is a question for

this Court to decide.” (Id. at pp. 230-231 (conc. & dis. opn. of Poritz, C.J.). As

noted generally by Professor Jesse Choper, “the Court should review individual

rights questions, unabated by its judgment about whether a particular result will be

subject to criticism, hostility, or disobedience.” (Choper, Judicial Review and the

National Political Process: A Functional Reconsideration of the Role of the

Supreme Court (1980) p. 167.)

The circumstance that in the present instance the statutory limitation upon

who may enter into the marriage relationship is contained in statutory provisions

that may be viewed as defining the marriage relationship, rather than, for example,

in a separate statutory provision stating that a marriage between persons of the

same sex is void, does not render this aspect of the statutory scheme immune from

constitutional constraints. The statutory provisions prohibiting interracial

marriage at issue in Perez, supra, 32 Cal.2d 711, would not have been exempt

from, or subject to a more deferential, constitutional scrutiny had the relevant

statutes in that case defined marriage as a union between two persons of the same

race, rather than providing that an interracial marriage was void. The form in

which a statutory limitation or prohibition on marriage is set forth does not justify

different constitutional treatment or preclude judicial review.

Furthermore, history belies the notion that any element that traditionally

has been viewed as an integral or definitional feature of marriage constitutes an

impermissible subject of judicial scrutiny. Many examples exist of legal doctrines

that once were viewed as central components of the civil institution of marriage —

such as the doctrine of coverture under which the wife’s legal identity was treated

110

as merged into that of her husband, whose property she became, or the doctrine of

recrimination which significantly limited the circumstances under which a

marriage could be legally terminated, or the numerous legal rules based upon the

differing roles historically occupied by a man and by a woman in the marriage

relationship and in family life generally. Courts have not hesitated to subject such

legal doctrines to judicial scrutiny when the fairness or continuing validity of the

doctrine or rule was challenged, on occasion ultimately modifying or invalidating

it as a result of such judicial scrutiny. (See, e.g., Stone, The Family, Sex and

Marriage in England, 1500-1800 (1979) p. 221 [coverture]; DeBurgh v. DeBurgh,

supra, 39 Cal.2d 858 [recrimination]; Arp v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd., supra,

19 Cal.3d 395 [assumption of dependent nature of wife but not husband];

Kirchberg v. Feenstra (1981) 450 U.S. 455 [control over community property].)

Accordingly, we reject the contention that the separation-of-powers doctrine

renders judicial scrutiny improper because the statutory provisions in question

embody an integral aspect of the definition of marriage.

By the same token, the circumstance that the limitation of marriage to a

union between a man and a woman embodied in section 308.5 was enacted as an

initiative measure by a vote of the electorate similarly neither exempts the

statutory provision from constitutional scrutiny nor justifies a more deferential

standard of review. Although California decisions consistently and vigorously

have safeguarded the right of voters to exercise the authority afforded by the

initiative process (see, e.g., Associated Home Builders, etc., Inc. v. City of

Livermore (1976) 18 Cal.3d 582, 591), our past cases at the same time uniformly

establish that initiative measures adopted by the electorate are subject to the same

constitutional limitations that apply to statutes adopted by the Legislature, and our

courts have not hesitated to invalidate measures enacted through the initiative

111

process when they run afoul of constitutional guarantees provided by either the

federal or California Constitution.

For example, in Mulkey v. Reitman (1966) 64 Cal.2d 529, affd. sub nom.

Reitman v. Mulkey (1967) 387 U.S. 369, this court invalidated, as violative of

federal equal protection principles, a state initiative measure that purported to

overturn recently enacted state laws prohibiting racial discrimination in housing.

Although the dissenting justices in that case referred repeatedly to the

circumstance that the measure at issue had been adopted by a vote of the people

under the initiative power (see 64 Cal.2d at pp. 546, 553, 559 (dis. opn. of White,

J.); id. at p. 559 (dis. opn. of McComb, J.)) — and, indeed, noted that the

electorate’s approval had been “by an overwhelming margin of popular votes” (id.

at p. 553 (dis. opn. of White, J.)) — the majority nonetheless clearly explained that

the governing constitutional principles require that an initiative measure “like any

other state law, conform to federal constitutional standards before it may be

enforced against persons who are entitled to protection under that Constitution.”

(Id. at p. 533; see also Romer v. Evans (1996) 517 U.S. 620 [invalidating, as

violative of the federal equal protection clause, a provision of the Colorado

Constitution, adopted in a statewide referendum, that barred any municipality from

enacting or enforcing any policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual

orientation].) Similarly, in Legislature v. Deukmejian (1983) 34 Cal.3d 658, this

court held that a proposed reapportionment initiative measure was invalid under a

state constitutional provision limiting legislative reapportionment to a single,

valid, once-a-decade redistricting, emphasizing the “elementary principle” that

“[a] statutory initiative is subject to the same state and federal constitutional

limitations as are the Legislature and the statutes which it enacts.” (Id. at p. 674.)

(See also, e.g., Calfarm Ins. Co. v. Deukmejian (1989) 48 Cal.3d 805, 831-837

[invalidating, as violative of state constitutional provision prohibiting the

112

designation of a named private corporation to perform any function, a section of

an insurance reform initiative that created a nonprofit consumer advocacy

corporation]; Hays v. Wood (1979) 25 Cal.3d 772, 786-795 [invalidating, under

federal and state equal protection principles, portions of the Political Reform Act

of 1974, an initiative statute adopted by the voters]; Weaver v. Jordan (1966) 64

Cal.2d 235, 238-249 [invalidating, as violative of the free speech provisions of the

state and federal Constitutions, an initiative measure imposing a statewide ban on

the business of home subscription television].)

Although

defendants

maintain that this court has an obligation to defer to

the statutory definition of marriage contained in section 308.5 because that

statute — having been adopted through the initiative process — represents the

expression of the “people’s will,” this argument fails to take into account the very

basic point that the provisions of the California Constitution itself constitute the

ultimate expression of the people’s will, and that the fundamental rights embodied

within that Constitution for the protection of all persons represent restraints that

the people themselves have imposed upon the statutory enactments that may be

adopted either by their elected representatives or by the voters through the

initiative process. As the United States Supreme Court explained in West Virginia

State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943) 319 U.S. 624, 638: “The very purpose

of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of

political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials

and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to

life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and

assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend

on the outcome of no elections.”

Indeed, Chief Justice Burger made the same point for a majority of the

United States Supreme Court in Citizens Against Rent Control v. Berkeley (1981)

113

454 U.S. 290, observing emphatically that “[i]t is irrelevant that the voters rather

than a legislative body enacted [the challenged law], because the voters may no

more violate the Constitution by enacting a ballot measure than a legislative body

may do so by enacting legislation.” (Id. at p. 295, italics added.) Accordingly, the

circumstance that the electorate voted in favor of retaining the traditional

definition of marriage does not exempt the statutory limitation from constitutional

review, nor does it demonstrate that the voters’ objective represents a

constitutionally compelling state interest for purposes of equal protection

principles.

In defending the state’s proffered interest in retaining the traditional

definition of marriage as limited to a union between a man and a woman, the

Attorney General and the Governor rely primarily upon the historic and well-

established nature of this limitation and the circumstance that the designation of

marriage continues to apply only to a relationship between opposite-sex couples in

the overwhelming majority of jurisdictions in the United States and around the

world.70 Because, until recently, there has been widespread societal disapproval

70

At this time, only six jurisdictions (Massachusetts and five foreign

nations — Canada, South Africa, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Spain) authorize
same-sex couples to marry. Of these six jurisdictions, three (Massachusetts,
Canada, and South Africa) arrived at that position through judicial decision
(Goodridge v. Dept. of Pub. Health, supra, 798 N.E.2d 941; Halpern v. Canada
(Ont.Ct.App. 2003) 65 O.R.3d 161; EGALE Canada, Inc. v. Canada (B.C.Ct.App.
2003) 225 D.L.R.4th 472; Hendricks v. Quebec (Que.Super.Ct. 2002) R.J.Q. 2506;
Minister of Home Affairs v. Fourie (S.Afr.Const.Ct. 2006) (3) BCLR 355), and
three (the Netherlands, Belgium, and Spain) adopted that position legislatively,
without compulsion or direction from a judicial decision. (Netherlands: Civ. code,
art. 30 [as amended Dec. 21, 2000]; Belgium: Civ. code, art. 143 [as amended
Feb. 13, 2003]; Spain: Civ. code, art. 44 [as amended by law 13/2005, July 1,
2005].) In Canada and South Africa, after the judiciary invalidated marriage
statutes limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples, the legislative branch enacted
laws complying with the judicial decisions. (Canada: Civil Marriage Act, 2005

(footnote continued on next page)

114

and disparagement of homosexuality in many cultures, it is hardly surprising that

the institution of civil marriage generally has been limited to opposite-sex couples

and that many persons have considered the designation of marriage to be

appropriately applied only to a relationship of an opposite-sex couple.

Although the understanding of marriage as limited to a union of a man and

a woman is undeniably the predominant one, if we have learned anything from the

significant evolution in the prevailing societal views and official policies toward

members of minority races and toward women over the past half-century, it is that

even the most familiar and generally accepted of social practices and traditions

often mask an unfairness and inequality that frequently is not recognized or

appreciated by those not directly harmed by those practices or traditions. It is

instructive to recall in this regard that the traditional, well-established legal rules

and practices of our not-so-distant past (1) barred interracial marriage,71


(footnote continued from previous page)

S.C., ch. 33; South Africa: Civil Union Act 2006 (art. No. 17. 2006).)


Although to date the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts is the only

state high court in this nation to have found a statute limiting marriage to opposite-
sex couples violative of its state constitution, we note that in each of the other
instances in which a state high court has addressed this issue in recent years, each
decision rejecting the constitutional challenge was determined by a divided court,
frequently by a one-vote margin. (See, e.g., Conaway v. Deane, supra, 932 A.2d
571 [Md.: four-to-three decision]; Hernandez v. Robles, supra, 855 N.E.2d 1
[N.Y.: four-to-two decision]; Andersen v. King County, supra, 138 P.3d 963 [Wn.:
five-to-four decision]; see also Lewis v. Harris, supra, 908 A.2d 196 [N.J.: court
unanimously concluded that same-sex couples are constitutionally entitled to the
rights and benefits of marriage, and three of the seven justices further concluded
that denying such couples the designation of marriage necessarily would violate the
state constitution].)

71

This court’s 1948 decision in Perez, supra, 32 Cal.2d 711, was the first

judicial decision to hold that a statute prohibiting interracial marriage was
unconstitutional. It was not until nearly 20 years later, in 1967, that the United

(footnote continued on next page)

115

(2) upheld the routine exclusion of women from many occupations and official

duties, and (3) considered the relegation of racial minorities to separate and

assertedly equivalent public facilities and institutions as constitutionally equal

treatment. As the United States Supreme Court observed in its decision in

Lawrence v. Texas, supra, 539 U.S. 558, 579, the expansive and protective

provisions of our constitutions, such as the due process clause, were drafted with

the knowledge that “times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can

see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress.”

For this reason, the interest in retaining a tradition that excludes an historically

disfavored minority group from a status that is extended to all others — even when

the tradition is long-standing and widely shared — does not necessarily represent a

compelling state interest for purposes of equal protection analysis.

After carefully evaluating the pertinent considerations in the present case,

we conclude that the state interest in limiting the designation of marriage

exclusively to opposite-sex couples, and in excluding same-sex couples from

access to that designation, cannot properly be considered a compelling state

interest for equal protection purposes. To begin with, the limitation clearly is not

necessary to preserve the rights and benefits of marriage currently enjoyed by

opposite-sex couples. Extending access to the designation of marriage to same-

sex couples will not deprive any opposite-sex couple or their children of any of the

rights and benefits conferred by the marriage statutes, but simply will make the

benefit of the marriage designation available to same-sex couples and their

children. As Chief Judge Kaye of the New York Court of Appeals succinctly

(footnote continued from previous page)

States Supreme Court reached the same conclusion in Loving v. Virginia, supra,
388 U.S. 1, striking down a comparable Virginia statute.

116

observed in her dissenting opinion in Hernandez v. Robles, supra, 855 N.E.2d 1,

30 (dis. opn. of Kaye, C.J.): “There are enough marriage licenses to go around for

everyone.” Further, permitting same-sex couples access to the designation of

marriage will not alter the substantive nature of the legal institution of marriage;

same-sex couples who choose to enter into the relationship with that designation

will be subject to the same duties and obligations to each other, to their children,

and to third parties that the law currently imposes upon opposite-sex couples who

marry. Finally, affording same-sex couples the opportunity to obtain the

designation of marriage will not impinge upon the religious freedom of any

religious organization, official, or any other person; no religion will be required to

change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no

religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his

or her religious beliefs. (Cal. Const., art. I, § 4.)72

While retention of the limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples is not

needed to preserve the rights and benefits of opposite-sex couples, the exclusion of

same-sex couples from the designation of marriage works a real and appreciable

harm upon same-sex couples and their children. As discussed above, because of

the long and celebrated history of the term “marriage” and the widespread


72

Contrary to the contention of the Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund and the

Campaign, the distinction in nomenclature between marriage and domestic
partnership cannot be defended on the basis of an asserted difference in the effect
on children of being raised by an opposite-sex couple instead of by a same-sex
couple. Because the governing California statutes permit same-sex couples to
adopt and raise children and additionally draw no distinction between married
couples and domestic partners with regard to the legal rights and responsibilities
relating to children raised within each of these family relationships, the asserted
difference in the effect on children does not provide a justification for the
differentiation in nomenclature set forth in the challenged statutes.

117

understanding that this word describes a family relationship unreservedly

sanctioned by the community, the statutory provisions that continue to limit access

to this designation exclusively to opposite-sex couples — while providing only a

novel, alternative institution for same-sex couples — likely will be viewed as an

official statement that the family relationship of same-sex couples is not of

comparable stature or equal dignity to the family relationship of opposite-sex

couples. Furthermore, because of the historic disparagement of gay persons, the

retention of a distinction in nomenclature by which the term “marriage” is

withheld only from the family relationship of same-sex couples is all the more

likely to cause the new parallel institution that has been established for same-sex

couples to be considered a mark of second-class citizenship. Finally, in addition

to the potential harm flowing from the lesser stature that is likely to be afforded to

the family relationships of same-sex couples by designating them domestic

partnerships, there exists a substantial risk that a judicial decision upholding the

differential treatment of opposite-sex and same-sex couples would be understood

as validating a more general proposition that our state by now has repudiated: that

it is permissible, under the law, for society to treat gay individuals and same-sex

couples differently from, and less favorably than, heterosexual individuals and

opposite-sex couples.

In light of all of these circumstances, we conclude that retention of the

traditional definition of marriage does not constitute a state interest sufficiently

compelling, under the strict scrutiny equal protection standard, to justify

withholding that status from same-sex couples. Accordingly, insofar as the

provisions of sections 300 and 308.5 draw a distinction between opposite-sex

118

couples and same-sex couples and exclude the latter from access to the designation

of marriage, we conclude these statutes are unconstitutional.73

VI

Having concluded that sections 300 and 308.5 are unconstitutional to the

extent each statute reserves the designation of marriage exclusively to opposite-

sex couples and denies same-sex couples access to that designation, we must

determine the proper remedy.

When a statute’s differential treatment of separate categories of individuals

is found to violate equal protection principles, a court must determine whether the

constitutional violation should be eliminated or cured by extending to the

previously excluded class the treatment or benefit that the statute affords to the

included class, or alternatively should be remedied by withholding the benefit

equally from both the previously included class and the excluded class. A court

generally makes that determination by considering whether extending the benefit

equally to both classes, or instead withholding it equally, would be most consistent

with the likely intent of the Legislature, had that body recognized that unequal

treatment was constitutionally impermissible. (See, e.g., Kopp v. Fair Political


73

We emphasize that in reaching this conclusion we do not suggest that the

current marriage provisions were enacted with an invidious intent or purpose. (Cf.
Hernandez v. Robles, supra, 855 N.E.2d 1, 8 [“A court should not lightly conclude
that everyone who held this belief [that the right to marriage did not extend to
same-sex couples] was irrational, ignorant or bigoted”].) We conclude that
because of the detrimental effect that such provisions impose on gay individuals
and couples on the basis of their sexual orientation, the statutes are inconsistent
with the constitutional principles embodied in the California Constitution and
accordingly cannot be upheld.


119

Practices Com. (1995) 11 Cal.4th 607, 626-662; Arp v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals

Bd., supra, 19 Cal.4th 395, 407-410.)

In the present case, it is readily apparent that extending the designation of

marriage to same-sex couples clearly is more consistent with the probable

legislative intent than withholding that designation from both opposite-sex couples

and same-sex couples in favor of some other, uniform designation. In view of the

lengthy history of the use of the term “marriage” to describe the family

relationship here at issue, and the importance that both the supporters of the 1977

amendment to the marriage statutes and the electors who voted in favor of

Proposition 22 unquestionably attached to the designation of marriage, there can

be no doubt that extending the designation of marriage to same-sex couples, rather

than denying it to all couples, is the equal protection remedy that is most

consistent with our state’s general legislative policy and preference.

Accordingly, 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.

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

120

jurisdictions, apply those provisions in a manner consistent with the decision of

this court. Further, as the prevailing parties, plaintiffs are entitled to their costs.

The judgment of the Court of Appeal is reversed, and the matter is

remanded to that court for further action consistent with this opinion.

GEORGE, C. J.

WE CONCUR:


KENNARD, J.
WERDEGAR, J.
MORENO, J.


121












CONCURRING OPINION BY KENNARD, J.




I write separately to explain how the court’s decision here is consistent with

Lockyer v. City and County of San Francisco (2004) 33 Cal.4th 1055 (Lockyer), to

note Lockyer’s effect on marriages of same-sex couples previously performed in

this state, and to emphasize my agreement with the Chief Justice that the

constitutionality of the marriage laws’ exclusion of same-sex couples is an issue

particularly appropriate for decision by this court.

As the opening words of the Chief Justice’s majority opinion indicate, this

case is a continuation of Lockyer. There, this court held that local officials had

acted unlawfully by issuing gender-neutral marriage licenses to same-sex couples

after the officials made a legal determination that depriving same-sex couples of

the right to marry was unconstitutional. (Lockyer, supra, 33 Cal.4th at pp. 1069,

1104-1105.) Here, this court holds that under the state Constitution’s equal

protection guarantee, same-sex couples have a right to marry, and that state

officials should take all necessary and appropriate steps so that local officials may

begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. (Maj. opn., ante, at pp. 118-

121.)

From such brief descriptions, these two decisions may appear inconsistent.

What this court determined to be unlawful in Lockyer, and ordered city officials to

immediately stop doing, is the same action that must now, by virtue of this court’s

decision here, be recommenced — issuing marriage licenses to couples consisting

1



of either two women or two men. There is no inconsistency, however, in these

two decisions. In Lockyer, this court did not decide whether the California

Constitution’s equal protection guarantee affords a right of marriage to same-sex

couples. (Lockyer, supra, 33 Cal.4th at p. 1069.) Rather, this court decided only

that local officials lacked authority to decide the constitutional validity of the state

marriage statutes and instead should have submitted that question to the judiciary

for resolution. (Ibid.) Now that this court has authoritatively and conclusively

resolved the underlying constitutional question by holding that state marriage laws

are constitutionally invalid insofar as they discriminate on the basis of sexual

orientation, the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples is lawful, and

indeed constitutionally required.

In Lockyer, this court declared void all of the approximately 4,000

marriages performed in San Francisco under the licenses issued to same-sex

couples (Lockyer, supra, 33 Cal.4th at pp. 1117-1118), and the court here does not

undertake any reconsideration of the validity of those marriages. I disagreed with

Lockyer’s nullification of those marriages. Recognizing that many of the

individuals to whom those licenses had been issued had “waited years, sometimes

several decades, for a chance to wed, yearning to obtain the public validation that

only marriage can give” (Lockyer, supra, at p. 1132 (conc. & dis. opn. of Kennard,

J.)), I took the position that the validity of those marriages should be determined

“after the constitutionality of California laws restricting marriage to opposite-sex

couples has been authoritatively resolved through judicial proceedings now

pending in the courts of California” (id. at p. 1125).

I explained my position in these words: “Whether the issuance of a gender-

neutral license to a same-sex couple, in violation of state laws restricting marriage

to opposite-sex couples, is a defect that precludes any possibility of a valid

marriage may well depend upon resolution of the constitutional validity of that

2



statutory restriction. If the restriction is constitutional, then a marriage between

persons of the same sex would be a legal impossibility, and no marriage would

ever have existed. But if the restriction violates a fundamental constitutional right,

the situation could be quite different. A court might then be required to determine

the validity of same-sex marriages that had been performed before the laws

prohibiting those marriages had been invalidated on constitutional grounds. [¶]

When a court has declared a law unconstitutional, questions about the effect of

that determination on prior actions, events, and transactions ‘are among the most

difficult of those which have engaged the attention of courts, state and federal, and

it is manifest from numerous decisions that an all-inclusive statement of a

principle of absolute retroactive invalidity cannot be justified.’ (Chicot County

Dist. v. Bank (1940) 308 U.S. 371, 374; accord, Lemon v. Kurtzman [(1973) 411

U.S. 192,] 198.) This court has acknowledged that, in appropriate circumstances,

an unconstitutional statute may be judicially reformed to retroactively extend its

benefits to a class that the statute expressly but improperly excluded. (Kopp v.

Fair Pol. Practices Com. (1995) 11 Cal.4th 607, 624-625 (lead opn. of Lucas, C.

J.), 685 (conc. & dis. opn. of Baxter, J.) [joining in pt. III of lead opn.].) Thus, it is

possible, though by no means certain, that if the state marriage laws prohibiting

same-sex marriage were held to violate the state Constitution, same-sex marriages

performed before that determination could then be recognized as valid.” (Lockyer,

supra, 33 Cal.4th at pp. 1131-1132 (conc. & dis. opn. of Kennard, J.).)

Recognizing that this court’s decision in Lockyer finally and conclusively

invalidated the marriages of same-sex couples performed in San Francisco in

2004, the parties have not asked this court to again address that issue here, and this

court has not done so. Nevertheless, in my view, it is important to recognize how

today’s holding could have affected a decision on the validity of those marriages.

In light of our determination here that same-sex couples are entitled under the state

3



Constitution to the same marriage rights as opposite-sex couples, this court — had

it in Lockyer deferred until now a decision on the validity of the previously

performed marriages of same-sex couples — necessarily would have recognized

that the defects in those marriages were not substantive (in other words, no valid

law prohibited the marriages) but rather procedural (the marriages were premature

in the sense that they were performed before rather than after a judicial

determination of the couples’ right to marry), and that the parties to these

marriages were attempting in good faith to exercise their rights under the state

Constitution. Because of Lockyer, however, those marriage ceremonies,

performed with great joy and celebration, must remain “empty and meaningless

. . . in the eyes of the law.” (Lockyer, supra, 33 Cal.4th at p. 1132 (conc. & dis.

opn. of Kennard, J.).)

The court’s opinion, authored by the Chief Justice, carefully and fully

explains why the constitutionality of the marriage laws’ exclusion of same-sex

couples is an issue particularly appropriate for decision by this court, rather than a

social or political issue inappropriate for judicial consideration. (See maj. opn.,

ante, at pp. 109-114.) Because of its importance, this point deserves special

emphasis.

In holding today that the right to marry guaranteed by the state Constitution

may not be withheld from anyone on the ground of sexual orientation, this court

discharges its gravest and most important responsibility under our constitutional

form of government. There is a reason why the words “Equal Justice Under Law”

are inscribed above the entrance to the courthouse of the United States Supreme

Court. Both the federal and the state Constitutions guarantee to all the “equal

protection of the laws” (U.S. Const., 14th Amend.; Cal. Const., art. I, § 7), and it is

the particular responsibility of the judiciary to enforce those guarantees. The

architects of our federal and state Constitutions understood that widespread and

4



deeply rooted prejudices may lead majoritarian institutions to deny fundamental

freedoms to unpopular minority groups, and that the most effective remedy for this

form of oppression is an independent judiciary charged with the solemn

responsibility to interpret and enforce the constitutional provisions guaranteeing

fundamental freedoms and equal protection. (See Davis v. Passman (1979) 442

U.S. 228, 241 [describing the judiciary as “the primary means” for enforcement of

constitutional rights]; Bixby v. Pierno (1971) 4 Cal.3d 130, 141 [stating that, under

our constitutional system of checks and balances, “probably the most fundamental

[protection] lies in the power of the courts to test legislative and executive acts by

the light of constitutional mandate and in particular to preserve constitutional

rights, whether of individual or minority, from obliteration by the majority”].)

Here, we decide only the scope of the equal protection guarantee under the

state Constitution, which operates independently of the federal Constitution. (See

Cal. Const., art I, § 24 [“Rights guaranteed by this Constitution are not dependent

on those guaranteed by the United States Constitution”].) Absent a compelling

justification, our state government may not deny a right as fundamental as

marriage to any segment of society. Whether an unconstitutional denial of a

fundamental right has occurred is not a matter to be decided by the executive or

legislative branch, or by popular vote, but is instead an issue of constitutional law

for resolution by the judicial branch of state government. Indeed, this court’s

decision in Lockyer made it clear that the courts alone must decide whether

excluding individuals from marriage because of sexual orientation can be

reconciled with our state Constitution’s equal protection guarantee. (Lockyer,

supra, 33 Cal.4th at pp. 1068-1069.) The court today discharges its constitutional

obligation by resolving that issue.

5



With these observations, I concur fully in the court’s opinion authored by

the Chief Justice.

KENNARD,

J.

6












CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION BY BAXTER, J.




The majority opinion reflects considerable research, thought, and effort on

a significant and sensitive case, and I actually agree with several of the majority’s

conclusions. However, I cannot join the majority’s holding that the California

Constitution gives same-sex couples a right to marry. In reaching this decision,

I believe, the majority violates the separation of powers, and thereby commits

profound error.

Only one other American state recognizes the right the majority announces

today. So far, Congress, and virtually every court to consider the issue, has

rejected it. Nothing in our Constitution, express or implicit, compels the

majority’s startling conclusion that the age-old understanding of marriage — an

understanding recently confirmed by an initiative law — is no longer valid.

California statutes already recognize same-sex unions and grant them all the

substantive legal rights this state can bestow. If there is to be a further sea change

in the social and legal understanding of marriage itself, that evolution should occur

by similar democratic means. The majority forecloses this ordinary democratic

process, and, in doing so, oversteps its authority.

The majority’s mode of analysis is particularly troubling. The majority

relies heavily on the Legislature’s adoption of progressive civil rights protections

for gays and lesbians to find a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. In effect,

the majority gives the Legislature indirectly power that body does not directly

1



possess to amend the Constitution and repeal an initiative statute. I cannot

subscribe to the majority’s reasoning, or to its result.

As noted above, I do not dispute everything the majority says. At the

outset, I join the majority’s observation that “[f]rom the beginning of California

statehood, the legal institution of civil marriage has been understood to refer to a

relationship between a man and a woman.” (Maj. opn., ante, at p. 23, fn. omitted.)

Moreover, I endorse the majority’s interpretation of California’s Domestic

Partnership Act (DPA; Fam. Code, § 297 et seq.). As the majority makes clear,

the DPA now allows same-sex partners to enter legal unions which “afford . . .

virtually all of the [substantive] benefits and responsibilities afforded by California

law to married opposite-sex couples.” (Maj. opn., ante, at p. 45; see also Fam.

Code, § 297.5.) As the majority further correctly observes, California has done all

it can do with regard to providing these substantive rights, benefits, and

responsibilities to same-sex partners. (Maj. opn., ante, at pp. 44-45.)1

I also agree with the majority’s construction of Family Code section 308.5.

As the majority explains, this initiative statute, adopted by a popular vote of 61.4


1

As the majority acknowledges, California cannot force other jurisdictions to

recognize California same-sex legal partnerships, by any name. Indeed, the federal
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA; 28 U.S.C. § 1738C, as added by Pub.L. 104-
199, § 2(a) (Sept. 21, 1996), 110 Stat. 2419) specifies that an American state,
territory, possession, or Indian tribe may refuse to recognize any same-sex legal
relationship created under the laws of another state, territory, possession, or tribe,
and “treated as a marriage” by that other entity. As the majority concedes, many
American jurisdictions have exercised this authority, and have enacted laws
refusing to recognize same-sex marriages or equivalent same-sex legal unions
created under the laws of other jurisdictions. Moreover, under the DOMA, all
federal laws and regulations affecting marital or spousal rights, responsibilities, and
benefits expressly apply only to opposite-sex unions. (1 U.S.C. § 7, as added by
Pub.L. 104-199, § 3(a) (Sept. 21, 1996), 110 Stat. 2419.)

2



percent and thus immune from unilateral repeal by the Legislature (Cal. Const.,

art. II, § 10, subdivision (c)), does not merely preclude California’s recognition of

same-sex “marriage[s]” consummated elsewhere, but also invalidates same-sex

“marriage[s]” contracted under that name in this state.2

In addition, I am fully in accord with the majority’s conclusion that Family

Code sections 300 and 308.5, insofar as they recognize only legal relationships

between opposite-sex partners as “marriage[s],” do not discriminate on the basis of

gender.

Finally, I concur that the actions in Proposition 22 Legal Defense and

Education Fund v. City and County of San Francisco (Super. Ct. S.F. City &

County No. CPF-04-503943) and Campaign for California Families v. Newsom

(Super. Ct. S.F. City & County No. CGC-04-428794) should have been dismissed

as moot in the wake of this court’s decision in Lockyer v. City and County of San

Francisco (2004) 33 Cal.4th 1055.

However, I respectfully disagree with the remainder of the conclusions

reached by the majority.

The question presented by this case is simple and stark. It comes down to

this: Even though California’s progressive laws, recently adopted through the

democratic process, have pioneered the rights of same-sex partners to enter legal

unions with all the substantive benefits of opposite-sex legal unions, do those laws


2

Insofar as Family Code section 308.5 does represent California’s decision

not to recognize same-sex marriages contracted in another jurisdiction, that choice
is expressly sanctioned, of course, by 28 United States Code section 1738C, part of
the DOMA. (See fn. 1, ante.) This provision is an exercise of Congress’s power
under the full faith and credit clause (U.S. Const., art. IV, § 1). (E.g., Wilson v. Ake
(M.D.Fla. 2005) 354 F.Supp.2d 1298, 1303-1304 (Wilson).)

3



nonetheless violate the California Constitution because at present, in deference to

long and universal tradition, by a convincing popular vote, and in accord with

express national policy (see fns. 1, 2, ante), they reserve the label “marriage” for

opposite-sex legal unions?3 I must conclude that the answer is no.

The People, directly or through their elected representatives, have every

right to adopt laws abrogating the historic understanding that civil marriage is

between a man and a woman. The rapid growth in California of statutory


3

Before addressing the “label” issue — the only one actually presented by

this case — the majority spends much time and effort to find that there is a
fundamental constitutional right to enter a legally recognized familial union with a
partner of the same sex. The focus on this subject is puzzling, for, as the majority
concedes, California law already provides, to the maximum extent of the state’s
power, a right to same-sex legal unions with all the substantive legal benefits of
their opposite-sex counterparts. Thus, as the majority further acknowledges,
plaintiffs have no occasion to establish a constitutional basis for these rights, and
the issue is simply “whether, in light of the enactment of California’s domestic
partnership legislation
, the current California statutory scheme is constitutional.”
(Maj. opn., ante, at p. 48, fn. 27, italics in original.) The majority’s objective
appears to be to establish that the so-called fundamental right to same-sex legal
unions includes, as a “core element[],” the right to have those unions “accorded the
same dignity, respect, and stature” as opposite-sex legal partnerships enjoy. (Id., at
p. 81.) This, in turn, supports the majority’s later conclusion that the labeling
distinction in the current scheme directly infringes this fundamental right, and is
therefore subject to strict scrutiny for reasons independent of the equal protection
theory also advanced by the majority. (Id., at pp. 101-106.)


As I explain below, however, I conclude that there is no fundamental

constitutional right to a same-sex legal union that equates in every respect with
marriage. I would also reject the majority’s alternative theory, based on the equal
protection clause, for subjecting the labeling distinction to strict scrutiny. Hence, in
my view, the naming distinction preserved by California’s statutes must be upheld
under our Constitution unless it is irrational. By that standard, the People’s
decision to retain the traditional definition of marriage as between a man and a
woman is amply justified.

4



protections for the rights of gays and lesbians, as individuals, as parents, and as

committed partners, suggests a quickening evolution of community attitudes on

these issues. Recent years have seen the development of an intense debate about

same-sex marriage. Advocates of this cause have had real success in the

marketplace of ideas, gaining attention and considerable public support. Left to its

own devices, the ordinary democratic process might well produce, ere long, a

consensus among most Californians that the term “marriage” should, in civil

parlance, include the legal unions of same-sex partners.

But a bare majority of this court, not satisfied with the pace of democratic

change, now abruptly forestalls that process and substitutes, by judicial fiat, its

own social policy views for those expressed by the People themselves.

Undeterred by the strong weight of state and federal law and authority,4 the


4

Among American jurisdictions, only the high court of Massachusetts

(Goodridge v. Department of Public Health (Mass. 2003) 798 N.E.2d 941
(Goodridge); see also Opinions of the Justices to the Senate (Mass. 2004)
802 N.E.2d 565, 572) has previously found or confirmed in its state Constitution a
right of civil marriage to partners of the same sex. Several years earlier, in Baehr v.
Lewin
(Haw. 1993) 852 P.2d 44, the Hawaii Supreme Court had held that the denial
of marriage licenses to same-sex couples was subject, under the state Constitution,
to strict scrutiny, and had remanded the cause for further proceedings on the issue
whether strict scrutiny was satisfied. However, before the lower court’s “no”
answer (see Baehr v. Miike (Haw.Cir.Ct. 1996) 1996 WL 694235) could be
reviewed on appeal, the voters ratified a state constitutional amendment giving the
Hawaii Legislature the right to reserve marriage to opposite-sex unions (Haw.
Const., art. I, § 23, as adopted at Gen. Elec. (Nov. 3, 1998) pursuant to Haw. H.R.
Bill No. 117 (1997 Reg. Sess.)), a step that body had already taken (Haw.Rev.Stat.
§ 572-1, as amended by Haw. Sess. Laws 1994, act 217, § 3). Meanwhile, a
substantially greater number of courts have rejected claims of state constitutional
rights to same-sex marriage. (E.g., Conaway v. Deane (Md. 2007) 932 A.2d 571;
Hernandez v. Robles (N.Y. 2006) 855 N.E.2d 1; Andersen v. King County
(Wash. 2006) 138 P.3d 963; Morrison v. Sadler (Ind.Ct.App. 2005) 821 N.E.2d 15;
Standhardt v. Superior Court (Ariz.Ct.App. 2003) 77 P.3d 451; Baker v. Nelson
(Minn. 1971) 191 N.W.2d 185, appeal dismissed (1972) 409 U.S. 810; see Dean v.

(footnote continued on next page)

5



majority invents a new constitutional right, immune from the ordinary process of

legislative consideration. The majority finds that our Constitution suddenly

demands no less than a permanent redefinition of marriage, regardless of the

popular will.

In doing so, the majority holds, in effect, that the Legislature has done

indirectly what the Constitution prohibits it from doing directly. Under article II,

section 10, subdivision (c), that body cannot unilaterally repeal an initiative

statute, such as Family Code section 308.5, unless the initiative measure itself so

provides. Section 308.5 contains no such provision. Yet the majority suggests

that, by enacting other statutes which do provide substantial rights to gays and

lesbians — including domestic partnership rights which, under section 308.5, the

Legislature could not call “marriage” — the Legislature has given “explicit

official recognition” (maj. opn., ante, at pp. 68, 69) to a California right of equal

treatment which, because it includes the right to marry, thereby invalidates section

308.5.5


(footnote continued from previous page)

District of Columbia (D.C.App. 1995) 653 A.2d 307, 332-333 (conc. & dis. opn. of
Ferren, J); Dean, at pp. 361-364 (conc. opns. of Terry, J. & Steadman, J.) [federal
Const.]; see also Lewis v. Harris (N.J. 2006) 908 A.2d 196 [finding right to same-
sex civil union with benefits of marriage, but concluding that label issue is
premature]; Baker v. State (Vt. 1999) 744 A.2d 864 [same].) In the wake of these
developments, “[w]ith the exception of Massachusetts, every state’s law, explicitly
or implicitly, defines marriage to mean the union of a man and a woman.”
(Lewis v. Harris, supra, 908 A.2d at p. 208, fn. omitted.) As we have seen, federal
statutory law also expressly does so.

5

The majority refrains from declaring explicitly that same-sex legal unions

must be called marriage, suggesting only that the name chosen must be equivalent
in respect and dignity to the name allotted to opposite-sex unions. Thus, the
majority suggests, the Legislature might choose a new, common name for civil

(footnote continued on next page)

6



I cannot join this exercise in legal jujitsu, by which the Legislature’s own

weight is used against it to create a constitutional right from whole cloth, defeat

the People’s will, and invalidate a statute otherwise immune from legislative

interference. Though the majority insists otherwise, its pronouncement seriously

oversteps the judicial power. The majority purports to apply certain fundamental

provisions of the state Constitution, but it runs afoul of another just as fundamental

— article III, section 3, the separation of powers clause. This clause declares that

“[t]he powers of state government are legislative, executive, and judicial,” and that

“[p]ersons charged with the exercise of one power may not exercise either of the

others” except as the Constitution itself specifically provides. (Italics added.)

History confirms the importance of the judiciary’s constitutional role as a

check against majoritarian abuse. Still, courts must use caution when exercising

the potentially transformative authority to articulate constitutional rights.

Otherwise, judges with limited accountability risk infringing upon our society’s

most basic shared premise — the People’s general right, directly or through their

chosen legislators, to decide fundamental issues of public policy for themselves.

Judicial restraint is particularly appropriate where, as here, the claimed

constitutional entitlement is of recent conception and challenges the most

fundamental assumption about a basic social institution.

The majority has violated these principles. It simply does not have the right

to erase, then recast, the age-old definition of marriage, as virtually all societies

have understood it, in order to satisfy its own contemporary notions of equality

and justice.

(footnote continued from previous page)

unions of both kinds. Either way, as the majority clearly holds, Family Code
section 308.5 must be struck down. (Maj. opn., ante, at pp. 119-120.)

7



The California Constitution says nothing about the rights of same-sex

couples to marry. On the contrary, as the majority concedes, our original

Constitution, effective from the moment of statehood, evidenced an assumption

that marriage was between partners of the opposite sex. Statutes enacted at the

state’s first legislative session confirmed this assumption, which has continued to

the present day. When the Legislature realized that 1971 amendments to the Civil

Code, enacted for other reasons, had created an ambiguity on the point, the

oversight was quickly corrected, and the definition of marriage as between a man

and a woman was made explicit. (Maj. opn., ante, at pp. 23-36.) The People

themselves reaffirmed this definition when, in the year 2000, they adopted

Proposition 22 by a 61.4 percent majority.

Despite this history, plaintiffs first insist they have a fundamental right,

protected by the California Constitution’s due process and privacy clauses (Cal.

Const., art. I, §§ 1, 7, subd. (a)), to marry the adult consenting partners of their

choice, regardless of gender. The majority largely accepts this contention. It

holds that “the right to marry, as embodied in article I, sections 1 and 7, of the

California Constitution, guarantees same-sex couples the same substantive

constitutional rights as opposite-sex couples to . . . enter with [one’s chosen life

partner] into a committed, officially recognized, and protected family relationship

that enjoys all of the constitutionally based incidents of marriage.” (Maj. opn.,

ante, at p. 79, fn. omitted.) Further, the majority declares, a “core element[ ] of

this fundamental right is the right of same-sex couples to have their official family

relationship accorded the same dignity, respect, and stature as that accorded to all

other officially recognized family relationships.” (Id., at p. 81.)

To the extent this means same-sex couples have a fundamental right to

enter legally recognized family unions called “marriage” (or, as the majority

unrealistically suggests, by another name common to both same-sex and opposite-

8



sex unions), I cannot agree. I find no persuasive basis in our Constitution or our

jurisprudence to justify such a cataclysmic transformation of this venerable

institution.

Fundamental rights entitled to the Constitution’s protection are those

“which are, objectively, ‘deeply rooted in this [society’s] history and tradition,’

[citations], and ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty,’ such that ‘neither

liberty nor justice could exist if they were sacrificed, [citation].” (Washington v.

Glucksberg (1997) 521 U.S. 702, 720-721 (Glucksberg); see, e.g., Dawn D. v.

Superior Court (1998) 17 Cal.4th 932, 940.) Moreover, an assessment whether a

fundamental right or interest is at stake requires “a ‘careful description’ of the

asserted fundamental . . . interest. [Citations.]” (Glucksberg, supra, at p. 721;

Dawn D., supra, at p. 941.)

These principles are crucial restraints upon the overreaching exercise of

judicial authority in violation of the separation of powers. Courts have “ ‘always

been reluctant to expand the concept of substantive due process because

guideposts for responsible decisionmaking in this unchartered area are scarce and

open-ended.’ [Citation.] By extending constitutional protection to an asserted

right or liberty interest, we, to a great extent, place the matter outside the arena of

public debate and legislative action. We must therefore ‘exercise the utmost care

whenever we are asked to break new ground in this field,’ [citation], lest the

liberty protected by the Due Process Clause be subtly transformed into the policy

preferences” of judges. (Glucksberg, supra, 521 U.S. 702, 720.)

It is beyond dispute, as the Court of Appeal majority in this case

persuasively indicated, that there is no deeply rooted tradition of same-sex

marriage, in the nation or in this state. Precisely the opposite is true. The concept

of same-sex marriage was unknown in our distant past, and is novel in our recent

9



history, because the universally understood definition of marriage has been the

legal or religious union of a man and a woman.6

One state, Massachusetts, has within the past five years recognized same-

sex marriage. (Goodridge, supra, 798 A.2d 941; see fn. 4, ante.) However, as the

Court of Appeal majority in our case observed, “the Massachusetts Supreme

Judicial Court’s decision establishing this right has been controversial. (See, e.g.,

Note, Civil Partnership in the United Kingdom and a Moderate Proposal for

Change in the United States (2005) 22 Ariz. J. Internat. & Comparative L. 613,

630-631 [describing the controversy engendered by Goodridge]; see also Lewis v.


6

This traditional understanding is certainly confirmed by the definitions of

“marriage” contained in standard dictionaries. (See, e.g., Webster’s Third New
Internat. Dict. (2002) p. 1384, col. 3 [“1 a: the state of being united to a person of
the opposite sex as husband or wife. b: the mutual relation of husband and wife:
WEDLOCK . . .”]; Random House Webster’s College Dict. (2d rev. ed. 2001)
p. 814, col. 1 [“1. the social institution under which a man and woman live as
husband and wife by legal or religious commitments . . .”]; IX Oxford English Dict.
(2d ed. 1989) p. 396, col. 1 [“1.a. The condition of being a husband or wife; . . .
[¶] . . . [¶] 2.a. . . . [t]he ceremony or procedure by which two persons are made
husband and wife”]; American Heritage Dict. (2d ed. 1985) p. 768, col. 1 [“1.a.
The state of being married: wedlock. b. The legal union of a man and woman as
husband and wife. . . .”].) In light of the recent development of the issue, late
editions of some such works dutifully allude to the concept of same-sex marriage.
(See, e.g., American Heritage Dict. (4th ed. 2000) p. 1073, col. 1 [“ . . . d. A union
having the customary but usually not the legal force of marriage: a same-sex
marriage
”]; compare, e.g., Black’s Law Dict. (8th ed. 2004) p. 994, col. 2 [noting
that “[t]he United States government and most American states do not recognize
same-sex marriages,” but citing recent decisions on the issue], with Black’s Law
Dict. (7th ed. 1999) pp. 986, col. 2, 987, cols. 1-2, 988, col. 1; compare also, e.g.,
Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dict. (11th ed. 2004) p. 761, col. 2, with Merriam
Webster’s Collegiate Dict. (10th ed. 2000) p. 711, cols. 1-2.) But such recent
acknowledgements in reference books do not undermine the fact that, until very
recently, the institution of marriage has universally been understood as the union of
opposite-sex partners.

10



Harris [(N.J.Super.Ct.App.Div. 2005) 875 A.2d 259, 274] [concluding from ‘the

strongly negative public reactions’ to Goodridge, and similar decisions from lower

courts of other states, that ‘there is not yet any public consensus favoring

recognition of same-sex marriage’].) Several other states have reacted negatively

by, for example, amending their constitutions to prohibit same-sex marriage. (See

Stein, Symposium on Abolishing Civil Marriage: An Introduction (2006)

27 Cardozo L.Rev. 1155, 1157, fn. 12 [noting, as of January 2006, ‘39 states [had]

either passed laws or amended their constitutions (or done both) to prohibit same-

sex marriages, to deny recognition of same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions,

and/or to deny recognition to other types of same-sex relationships’].)”

California’s history falls squarely along this nationwide spectrum, though at

its more progressive end. As the majority itself explains, despite the Legislature’s

passage of the DPA and other statutes pioneering gay and lesbian rights,

California law has always assumed that marriage itself is between a man and a

woman. In recent years, both the Legislature and the People themselves have

enacted measures to make that assumption explicit. Under these circumstances,

there is no basis for a conclusion that same-sex marriage is a deeply rooted

California tradition.

Undaunted, the majority nonetheless claims California’s legal history as

evidence of the constitutional right it espouses. According to the majority, the

very fact that the Legislature has, over time, adopted progressive laws such as the

DPA, thereby granting many substantial rights to gays and lesbians, constitutes

“explicit official recognition” (maj. opn., ante, at pp. 68, 69) of “this state’s

current policies and conduct regarding homosexuality,” i.e., “that gay individuals

are entitled to the same legal rights and the same respect and dignity afforded all

other individuals and are protected from discrimination on the basis of their sexual

orientation.” (Maj. opn., ante, at pp. 67-68, fn. omitted.) “In light of this

11



recognition,” the majority concludes, “sections 1 and 7 of article I of the

California Constitution cannot properly be interpreted to withhold from gay

individuals” full equality of rights with heterosexual persons, including the right to

same-sex legal unions that are fully equivalent —including in name — to those of

opposite-sex partners. (Id., at p. 69; see also id., at pp. 81, 101-119.)

This analysis is seriously flawed. At the outset, it overlooks the most

salient facts. The Legislature has indeed granted many rights to gay and lesbian

individuals, including the right to enter same-sex legal unions with all the

substantive rights and benefits of civil marriage. As the majority elsewhere

acknowledges, however, our current statutory scheme, which includes an initiative

measure enacted by the People, specifically reserves marriage itself for opposite-

sex unions. (Fam. Code, §§ 300, 308.5.) Under these circumstances, it is difficult

to see how our legislative history reflects a current community value in favor of

same-sex marriage that must now be enshrined in the Constitution.7

Of even greater concern is the majority’s mode of analysis, which places

heavy reliance on statutory law to establish a constitutional right. When a pattern

of legislation makes current community values clear, the majority seems to say,

those values can become locked into the Constitution itself.8

7

In this respect, California’s situation differs materially from that of

Massachusetts, the only other state that now recognizes a constitutional right to
same-sex marriage. In finding such a right, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial
Court addressed marriage statutes that imposed no facial prohibition on the issuance
of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. (See Goodridge, supra, 798 A.2d 941,
951-952.) The Massachusetts court did not confront, as we do, a law, recently
adopted by the voters, that gave explicit voice to a prevailing community standard
in favor of retaining the traditional man-woman definition of marriage.

8

The majority protests that, contrary to my assertion, the constitutional right it

finds is not “grounded upon” the Legislature’s passage of the DPA or any other

(footnote continued on next page)

12



Of course, only the People can amend the Constitution; the Legislature has

no unilateral power to do so. (Cal. Const., art. XVIII.) However, the effect of the

majority’s reasoning is to suggest that the Legislature can accomplish such

amendment indirectly, whether it intends to do so or not, by reflecting current

community attitudes in the laws it enacts.

The notion that legislation can become “constitutionalized” is mischievous

for several reasons. As indicated above, it violates the constitutional scheme by

which only the People can amend the state’s charter of government. It abrogates

the legislative power to reconsider what the law should be as public debate on an

issue ebbs and flows. And, for that very reason, it may discourage efforts to pass

progressive laws, out of fear that such efforts will ultimately, and inadvertently,

place the issue beyond the power of legislation to affect.

As applied in this case, the majority’s analysis has also given the

Legislature, indirectly, a power it does not otherwise possess to thwart the

People’s express legislative will. As noted above, under article II, section 10,

subdivision (c) of the California Constitution, “[t]he Legislature may amend or

repeal . . . an initiative statute by another statute that becomes effective only when

approved by the electors unless the initiative statute permits amendment or repeal

without their approval.” (Italics added.) Family Code section 308.5, adopted by

(footnote continued from previous page)

laws, and such legislation “[was] not required” in order to confer equal rights on
gay and lesbian individuals. (Maj. opn., ante, at p. 68.) As noted, however, the
majority’s analysis depends heavily on the Legislature’s efforts in behalf of gays
and lesbians as “explicit official recognition” (id., at pp. 68, 69) of California’s
policies on this subject, and as consequent justification for concluding, despite an
express contrary statute, that our Constitution grants gays and lesbians a right to
marry.

13



Proposition 22, includes no provision allowing its unilateral repeal or amendment

by the Legislature.

According to the majority, however, the Legislature’s adoption of

progressive laws on the subject of gay and lesbian rights, including the DPA,

makes it impossible not to recognize a constitutional right to same-sex legal

unions with full equivalency to opposite-sex legal unions. This development, the

majority ultimately concludes, requires the invalidation of Family Code section

308.5. In other words, in the majority’s view, the Legislature’s own actions have,

by indirection, caused this initiative statute to be erased from the books. To say

the least, I find such a constitutional approach troubling.9


9

It is true, as the majority suggests, that initiative statutes are not immune

from constitutional scrutiny, for “ ‘the voters may no more violate the Constitution
by enacting a ballot measure than a legislative body may do so by enacting
legislation.’ ” (Maj. opn., ante, at p. 114, quoting Citizens Against Rent Control v.
Berkeley
(1981) 454 U.S. 290, 295.) I do not suggest otherwise. I say only that the
majority has made three serious mistakes en route to its conclusion that the
initiative statute at issue here, Family Code section 308.5, violates the due process
clause of the California Constitution. First, the majority finds such a violation
largely on the basis of its assessment of prevailing contemporary values in this
state, though section 308.5 itself makes clear that our citizens have not yet
embraced the concept of same-sex marriage. Second, as evidence that prevailing
community attitudes support full marital rights for same-sex couples, the majority
cites the Legislature’s efforts to accord various rights and benefits to gays and
lesbians, including the right to enter same-sex unions that are substantively
equivalent to marriage. But this effectively means the Legislature has, by
indirection, undermined section 308.5, though the Constitution expressly denies
that body express power to do so. (Cal. Const., art. II, § 10, subd. (c).) Third, and
most fundamentally, the majority has eschewed the judicial restraint and caution
that should always apply, under separation of powers principles, before clear
expressions of popular will on fundamental issues are overturned.

14



Other grounds advanced by the majority for its claim of a fundamental right

are equally unpersuasive. The majority accepts plaintiffs’ unconvincing claim that

they seek no new “right to same-sex marriage” (maj. opn., ante, at p. 51), but

simply a recognition that the well-established right to marry one’s chosen partner

is not limited to those who wish to marry persons of the opposite sex. However,

by framing the issue simply as whether the undoubted right to marry is confined to

opposite-sex couples, the majority mischaracterizes the entitlement plaintiffs

actually claim. The majority thus begs the question and violates the requirement

of “ ‘careful description’ ” that properly applies when a court is asked to break

new ground in the area of substantive due process. (Glucksberg, supra, 521 U.S.

702, 721-722.)

Though the majority insists otherwise, plaintiffs seek, and the majority

grants, a new right to same-sex marriage that only recently has been urged upon

our social and legal system. Because civil marriage is an institution historically

defined as the legal union of a man and a woman, plaintiffs could not succeed

except by convincing this court to insert in our Constitution an altered and

expanded definition of marriage — one that includes same-sex partnerships for the

first time. By accepting that invitation, the majority places this controversial issue

beyond the realm of legislative debate and substitutes its own judgment in the

matter for the considered wisdom of the People and their elected representatives.

The majority advances no persuasive reason for taking that step.

In support of its view that marriage is a constitutional entitlement without

regard for the genders of the respective partners, the majority cites the many

California and federal decisions broadly describing the basic rights of personal

autonomy and family intimacy, including the right to marry, procreate, establish a

home, and bring up children. (See maj. opn., ante, at pp. 49-65.) However, none

of the cited decisions holds, or remotely suggests, that any right to marry

15



recognized by the Constitution extends beyond the traditional definition of

marriage to include same-sex partnerships.

Certainly Perez v. Sharp (1948) 32 Cal.2d 711 (Perez) does not support the

majority’s expansive view. There we struck down racial restrictions on the right

of a man and a woman to marry. But nothing in Perez suggests an intent to alter

the definition of marriage as a union of opposite-sex partners. In sum, there is no

convincing basis in federal or California jurisprudence for the majority’s claim

that same-sex couples have a fundamental constitutional right to marry.10

In a footnote, the majority insists that, though same-sex couples are

included within the fundamental constitutional right to marry, the state’s absolute

bans on marriages that are incestuous (Fam. Code, § 2200; see Pen. Code, § 285),

or nonmonogamous (Pen. Code, § 281 et seq.; Fam. Code, § 2201) are not in


10

The majority can draw no comfort from Lawrence v. Texas (2003) 539 U.S.

558 (Lawrence), which struck down a state law prohibiting same-sex sodomy.
(Overruling Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) 478 U.S. 186.) The five-member
Lawrence majority, asserting privacy and personal autonomy interests under the
due process clause, emphasized that the law, as applied to consenting adults,
constituted an intrusion into the most intimate form of human behavior, sexual
conduct, in the most private of places, the home. Even if the personal relationships
in which such consensual private conduct occurred were “not entitled to formal
recognition in the law,” the majority concluded, the government could not prohibit
the conduct itself. (Lawrence, at p. 567.) In response to concerns expressed in
dissent by Justice Scalia, the majority made clear that the case “[did] not involve
whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that
homosexual persons seek to enter.” (Id., at p. 578.) Justice O’Connor, concurring
in the judgment, found the antisodomy law invalid on equal protection grounds,
seeing no rational basis for the statute’s limitation to homosexual conduct. This did
not mean, she made clear, that all distinctions between gay and heterosexual
persons would similarly fail. In the case at hand, she noted, “Texas cannot assert
any legitimate state interest [in such a classification], such as . . . preserving the
traditional institution of marriage.” (Id., at p. 585 (conc. opn. of O’Connor, J.).)

16



danger. Vaguely the majority declares that “[p]ast judicial decisions explain why

our nation’s culture has considered [incestuous and polygamous] relationships

inimical to the mutually supportive and healthy family relationships promoted by

the constitutional right to marry. [Citations.]” (Maj. opn., ante, at p. 79, fn. 52.)

Thus, the majority asserts, though a denial of same-sex marriage is no longer

justified, “the state continues to have a strong and adequate justification for

refusing to officially sanction polygamous or incestuous relationships because of

their potentially detrimental effect on a sound family environment. [Citations.]”

(Id, at pp. 79-80.)

The bans on incestuous and polygamous marriages are ancient and deep-

rooted, and, as the majority suggests, they are supported by strong considerations

of social policy. Our society abhors such relationships, and the notion that our

laws could not forever prohibit them seems preposterous. Yet here, the majority

overturns, in abrupt fashion, an initiative statute confirming the equally deep-

rooted assumption that marriage is a union of partners of the opposite sex. The

majority does so by relying on its own assessment of contemporary community

values, and by inserting in our Constitution an expanded definition of the right to

marry that contravenes express statutory law.

That approach creates the opportunity for further judicial extension of this

perceived constitutional right into dangerous territory. Who can say that, in ten,

fifteen, or twenty years, an activist court might not rely on the majority’s analysis

to conclude, on the basis of a perceived evolution in community values, that the

laws prohibiting polygamous and incestuous marriages were no longer

constitutionally justified?

In no way do I equate same-sex unions with incestuous and polygamous

relationships as a matter of social policy or social acceptance. California’s

adoption of the DPA makes clear that our citizens find merit in the desires of gay

17



and lesbian couples for legal recognition of their committed partnerships.

Moreover, as I have said, I can foresee a time when the People might agree to

assign the label marriage itself to such unions. It is unlikely, to say the least, that

our society would ever confer such favor on incest and polygamy.

My point is that the majority’s approach has removed the sensitive issues

surrounding same-sex marriage from their proper forum — the arena of legislative

resolution — and risks opening the door to similar treatment of other, less

deserving, claims of a right to marry. By thus moving the policy debate from the

legislative process to the court, the majority engages in faulty constitutional

analysis and violates the separation of powers.

I would avoid these difficulties by confirming clearly that there is no

constitutional right to same-sex marriage. That is because marriage is, as it always

has been, the right of a woman and an unrelated man to marry each other.

From this conclusion, it follows, for substantive due process purposes, that

the marriage statutes are valid unless unreasonable or arbitrary (see, e.g.,

Kavanau v. Santa Monica Rent Control Bd. (1997) 16 Cal.4th 761, 771), and are

not subject to the strict scrutiny that applies when a statute infringes a fundamental

right or interest. As I discuss below, California’s preservation of the traditional

definition of marriage is entirely reasonable. Accordingly, I would reject

plaintiffs’ due process claim.

Besides concluding that Family Code sections 300 and 308.5 are subject to

strict scrutiny as an infringement on the fundamental state constitutional right to

marry, the majority also independently holds that such scrutiny is required under

the equal protection clause of the California Constitution. This is so, the majority

declares, because by withholding from same-sex legal unions the label that is

applied to opposite-sex legal unions, the scheme discriminates on the basis of

sexual orientation, which the majority now deems to be a suspect classification.

18



I find this analysis flawed at several levels. For two reasons, I would reject

plaintiffs’ equal protection claim at the threshold. And even if that were not

appropriate, I disagree that sexual orientation is a suspect classification. Hence, as

with the majority’s due process theory, I would not apply strict scrutiny, and

would uphold the statutory scheme as reasonable. I explain my conclusions.

“The general rule is that legislation is presumed to be valid and will be

sustained if the classification drawn by the statute is rationally related to a

legitimate state interest. [Citations.] When social or economic legislation is at

issue, the Equal Protection Clause allows the States wide latitude, [citations], and

the Constitution presumes that even improvident decisions will eventually be

rectified by the democratic processes.” (Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center, Inc.

(1985) 473 U.S. 432, 440, italics added (Cleburne).)

“The initial inquiry in any equal protection analysis is whether persons are

similarly situated for purposes of the law challenged.’ [Citation.]” (In re

Lemanuel C. (2007) 41 Cal.4th 33, 47.) A statute does not violate equal protection

when it recognizes real distinctions that are pertinent to the law’s legitimate aims.

(E.g., People v. Smith (2007) 40 Cal.4th 483, 527; Cooley v. Superior Court

(2002) 29 Cal.4th 228, 253; Coleman v. Department of Personnel Administration

(1991) 52 Cal.3d 1102, 1125; Purdy & Fitzpatrick v. State of California (1969)

71 Cal.2d 566, 578; see Cleburne, supra, 473 U.S. 432, 441.) In such cases,

judicial deference to legislative choices is consistent with “our respect for the

separation of powers.” (Cleburne, supra, at p. 441.)

Though the majority insists otherwise (see maj. opn., ante, at p. 83, fn. 54),

I agree with Justice Corrigan that same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples are

not similarly situated with respect to the valid purposes of Family Code sections

300 and 308.5. As Justice Corrigan indicates, the state has a legitimate interest in

enforcing the express legislative and popular will that the traditional definition of

19



marriage be preserved. Same-sex and opposite-sex couples cannot be similarly

situated for that limited purpose, precisely because the traditional definition of

marriage is a union of partners of the opposite sex.

Of course, statutory classifications do not serve legitimate state interests

when adopted for their own sake, out of animus toward a disfavored group. (E.g.,

Romer v. Evans (1996) 517 U.S. 620, 633, 634-635 (Romer); U. S. Dept. of

Agriculture v. Moreno (1973) 413 U.S. 528, 534; see Lawrence, supra, 539 U.S.

558, 582-583 (conc. opn. of O’Connor, J.); see also Cleburne, supra, 473 U.S.

432, 441.) Here, however, the majority itself expressly disclaims any suggestion

“that the current marriage provisions were enacted with an invidious intent or

purpose.” (Maj. opn., ante, at p. 119, fn. 73.) I therefore concur fully in Justice

Corrigan’s conclusion that plaintiffs’ equal protection challenge fails for this

reason alone.

I also disagree with the majority’s premise that, by assigning different

labels to same-sex and opposite-sex legal unions, the state discriminates directly

on the basis of sexual orientation. The marriage statutes are facially neutral on

that subject. They allow all persons, whether homosexual or heterosexual, to enter

into the relationship called marriage, and they do not, by their terms, prohibit any

two persons from marrying each other on the ground that one or both of the

partners is gay. (Cf. Perez, supra, 32 Cal.2d 711, 712-713 [statutes prohibited

marriage between certain partners on the basis of their respective races].)

The marriage statutes may have a disparate impact on gay and lesbian

individuals, insofar as these laws prevent such persons from marrying, by that

name, the partners they would actually choose. But, as we explained in Baluyut v.

Superior Court (1996) 12 Cal.4th 826, a facially neutral statute that merely has a

disparate effect on a particular class of persons does not violate equal protection

absent a showing the law was adopted for a discriminatory purpose. In this regard,

20



discriminatory purpose “ ‘implies more than intent as volition or intent as

awareness of consequences. See United Jewish Organizations v. Carey [(1977)]
430 U.S. 144, 179 (concurring opinion). It implies that the decisionmaker . . .

selected or reaffirmed a particular course of action at least in part “because of,”

not merely “in spite of,” its adverse effects upon an identifiable group.’

(Personnel Administrator of Mass. v. Feeney [(1979)] 442 U.S. [256,] 279.)”

(Baluyut, supra, at p. 837.)

There is no evidence that when the Legislature adopted Family Code

section 300, and the People adopted Family Code section 308.5, they did so

“ ‘ “because of” ’ ” its consequent adverse effect on gays and lesbians as a group.

On the contrary, it appears the legislation was simply intended to maintain an age-

old understanding of the meaning of marriage. Indeed, California’s adoption of

pioneering legislation that grants gay and lesbian couples all the substantive

incidents of marriage further dispels the notion that an invidious intent lurks in our

statutory scheme. As indicated above, the majority itself expressly disclaims any

suggestion that the laws defining marriage were passed for the purpose of

discrimination. For this reason as well, I believe our equal protection analysis

need go no further.

Even if the distinction were subject to further examination under the equal

protection clause, I disagree that strict scrutiny is the applicable standard of

review. This is because I do not agree with the majority’s decision to hold, under

current circumstances, that sexual orientation is a suspect classification.

The United States Supreme Court has never declared, for federal

constitutional purposes, that a classification based on sexual orientation is entitled

to any form of scrutiny beyond rational basis review. (See Cleburne, supra,
473 U.S. 432, 440-441 [recognizing race, alienage, and national origin as suspect

classifications requiring strict scrutiny review, and gender and illegitimacy as

21



quasi-suspect classifications requiring “somewhat heightened” review].)11

Moreover, as the majority concedes, its conclusion that sexual orientation is a

suspect classification subject to strict scrutiny contravenes “the great majority of

out-of-state decisions” — indeed, all but one of those cited by the majority. (Maj.

opn., ante, at p. 95, & fn. 60.)12


11

In Lawrence, supra, 539 U.S. 558, the majority held that Texas’s law

prohibiting homosexual sodomy violated the due-process-derived fundamental right
of all consenting adults to engage in intimate activity, including sexual conduct, in
private. (Id. at pp. 564-579.) Concurring in the judgment, Justice O’Connor found,
for equal protection purposes, that insofar as the law drew a distinction based
simply on dislike and moral disapproval of homosexuals, it served no legitimate
state interest. (Id., at pp. 581-585 (conc. opn. of O’Connor, J.).) As noted above,
both the majority and Justice O’Connor were careful to state that they were not
calling into question laws denying formal legal recognition to gay and lesbian
relationships. In Romer, supra, 517 U.S. 620, the majority found that a Colorado
constitutional amendment which prohibited all state and local agencies from
enacting or enforcing laws whereby homosexuality or bisexuality could be the basis
for claims of minority or protected status, or of discrimination, was obviously
motivated by antigay animus, an illegitimate state purpose, and thus could not
survive rational basis review. The Romer majority specifically noted (id., at
p. 625), but did not adopt, the Colorado Supreme Court’s theory that the
amendment was subject to strict scrutiny because it invaded fundamental political
rights.

12

Numerous other decisions have held that sexual orientation is not a suspect

or quasi-suspect classification. (E.g., Lofton v. Secretary of Dept. of Children &
Family
(11th Cir. 2004) 358 F.3d 804, 818; Equality Foundation v. City of
Cincinnati
(6th Cir. 1997) 128 F.3d 289, 292-293; Holmes v. California Army
National Guard
(9th Cir. 1997) 124 F.3d 1126, 1132; Richenberg v. Perry (8th Cir.
1996) 97 F.3d 256, 260; High Tech Gays v. Defense Ind. Sec. Clearance Off.
(9th Cir. 1990) 895 F.2d 563, 573-574 (High Tech Gays); Woodward v. U.S.
(Fed.Cir. 1989) 871 F.2d 1068, 1076; Rich v. Secretary of the Army (10th Cir.
1984) 735 F.2d 1220, 1229; Wilson, supra, 354 F.Supp.2d 1298, 1307-1308
[DOMA and Florida marriage statutes]; Selland v. Perry (D.Md. 1995) 905 F.Supp.
260, 265-266, aff’d (4th Cir. 1996) 100 F.3d 950; see Thomasson v. Perry (4th Cir.
1996) 80 F.3d 915, 928; Ben-Shalom v. Marsh (7th Cir. 1989) 881 F.2d 454, 464.)

22



As the majority also notes, the issue is one of first impression in California.

I find that circumstance highly significant. Considering the current status of gays

and lesbians as citizens of 21st-century California, the majority fails to persuade

me we should now hold that they qualify, under our state Constitution, for the

extraordinary protection accorded to suspect classes.

The concept that certain identifiable groups are entitled to extra protection

under the equal protection clause stems, most basically, from the premise that

because these groups are unpopular minorities, or otherwise share a history of

insularity, persecution, and discrimination, and are politically powerless, they are

especially susceptible to continuing abuse by the majority. Laws that single out

groups in this category for different treatment are presumed to “reflect prejudice

and antipathy — a view that those in the burdened class are not as worthy or

deserving as others. For these reasons, and because such discrimination is

unlikely to be soon rectified by legislative means,” the deference normally

accorded to legislative choices does not apply. (Cleburne, supra, 473 U.S. 432,

440, italics added; see also San Antonio School District v. Rodriguez (1973)
411 U.S. 1, 28 [noting relevance, for purposes of identification as suspect class,

that group “is relegated to such a position of political powerlessness as to

command extraordinary protection from the majoritarian political process”].)

Recognizing that the need for special constitutional protection arises from

the political impotence of an insular and disfavored group, several courts holding

that sexual orientation is not a suspect class have focused particularly on a

determination that, in contemporary times at least, the gay and lesbian community

does not lack political power. (High Tech Gays, supra, 895 F.2d 563, 574;

Conaway v. Deane, supra, 932 A.2d 571, 609-614 [same-sex marriage];

Andersen v. State, supra, 138 P.3d 963, 974-975 [same].)

23



In California, the political emergence of the gay and lesbian community is

particularly apparent. In this state, the progress achieved through democratic

means — progress described in detail by the majority — demonstrates that,

despite undeniable past injustice and discrimination, this group now “ ‘is

obviously able to wield political power in defense of its interests.’ ” (Maj. opn.,

ante, at p. 98, quoting the Attorney General’s brief.).

Nor are these gains so fragile and fortuitous as to require extraordinary state

constitutional protection. On the contrary, the majority itself declares that recent

decades have seen “a fundamental and dramatic transformation in this state’s

understanding and legal treatment of gay individuals and gay couples” (maj. opn.,

ante, at p. 67), whereby “California has repudiated past practices and policies that

denigrated the general character and morals of gay individuals” and now

recognizes homosexuality as “simply one of the numerous variables of our

common and diverse humanity” (ibid.). Under these circumstances, I submit, gays

and lesbians in this state currently lack the insularity, unpopularity, and

consequent political vulnerability upon which the notion of suspect classifications

is founded.

The majority insists that a determination whether a historically disfavored

group is a suspect class should not depend on the group’s current political power.

Otherwise, the majority posits, “it would be impossible to justify the numerous

decisions that continue to treat sex, race, and religion as suspect classes.” (Maj.

opn., ante, at p. 99. fn. omitted.)

I do not quarrel with those decisions. At the times suspect-class status was

first assigned to race, and in California to sex and religion, there were ample

grounds for doing so. They may well still exist in some or all of those cases.

Moreover, I do not suggest that once a group is properly found in need of

24



extraordinary protection, it should later be “declassified” when circumstances

change.

I only propose that, when, as here, the issue is before us as a matter of first

impression, we cannot ignore current reality. In such a case, we should consider

whether, despite a history of discrimination, a particular group remains so

unpopular, disfavored, and susceptible to majoritarian abuse that suspect-class

status is necessary to safeguard its rights. I would not draw that conclusion here.

Accordingly, I would apply the normal rational basis test to determine

whether, by granting same-sex couples all the substantive rights and benefits of

marriage, but reserving the marriage label for opposite-sex unions, California’s

laws violate the equal protection guarantee of the state Constitution. By that

standard, I find ample grounds for the balance currently struck on this issue by

both the Legislature and the People.

First, it is certainly reasonable for the Legislature, having granted same-sex

couples all substantive marital rights within its power, to assign those rights a

name other than marriage. After all, an initiative statute adopted by a 61.4 percent

popular vote, and constitutionally immune from repeal by the Legislature, defines

marriage as a union of partners of the opposite sex.

Moreover, in light of the provisions of federal law that, for purposes of

federal benefits, limit the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples (1 U.S.C.

§ 7), California must distinguish same-sex from opposite-sex couples in

administering the numerous federal-state programs that are governed by federal

law. A separate nomenclature applicable to the family relationship of same-sex

couples undoubtedly facilitates the administration of such programs.

Most fundamentally, the People themselves cannot be considered irrational

in deciding, for the time being, that the fundamental definition of marriage, as it

has universally existed until very recently, should be preserved. As the New

25



Jersey Supreme Court observed, “We cannot escape the reality that the shared

societal meaning of marriage — passed down through the common law into our

statutory law — has always been the union of a man and a woman. To alter that

meaning would render a profound change in the public consciousness of a social

institution of ancient origin.” (Lewis v. Harris, supra, 908 A.2d 196, 922.)

If such a profound change in this ancient social institution is to occur, the

People and their representatives, who represent the public conscience, should have

the right, and the responsibility, to control the pace of that change through the

democratic process. Family Code sections 300 and 308.5 serve this salutary

purpose. The majority’s decision erroneously usurps it.

For all these reasons, I would affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

BAXTER, J.

I CONCUR:

CHIN, J.

26












CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION BY CORRIGAN, J.




In my view, Californians should allow our gay and lesbian neighbors to call

their unions marriages. But I, and this court, must acknowledge that a majority of

Californians hold a different view, and have explicitly said so by their vote. This

court can overrule a vote of the people only if the Constitution compels us to do

so. Here, the Constitution does not. Therefore, I must dissent.

It is important to be clear. Under California law, domestic partners have

“virtually all of the same substantive legal benefits and privileges” available to

traditional spouses. (Maj. opn., ante, at p. 45.) I believe the Constitution requires

this as a matter of equal protection. However, the single question in this case is

whether domestic partners have a constitutional right to the name of “marriage.”1

Proposition 22 was enacted only eight years ago. By a substantial majority

the people voted to recognize, as “marriage,” only those unions between a man

and a woman. (Fam. Code, § 308.5.) The majority concludes that the voters’

decision to retain the traditional definition of marriage is unconstitutional. I

disagree.

1 Like Justice Baxter, I agree with the majority on the following subsidiary

issues: (1) Family Code section 308.5 applies to both in-state and out-of-state
marriages; (2) the marriage statutes do not discriminate on the basis of gender; and
(3) the Court of Appeal properly dismissed as moot the actions in Proposition 22
Legal Defense and Education Fund v. City and County of San Francisco
(Super. Ct.
S.F. City & County, No. CPF-04-503943) and Campaign for California Families v.
Newsom
(Super. Ct. S.F. City & County, No. CGC-04-428794). I confine my
discussion to the central disputed issue before the court.

1



The majority correctly notes that it is not for this court to set social policy

based on our individual views. Rather, this is a question of constitutional law.

(Maj. opn., ante, at pp. 4-5, 109.) I also agree with the majority that we must

consider both the statutes defining marriage and the domestic partnership statutes.

(Id. at pp. 3, 46-47.) The California Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities

Act of 2003 (DPA), and other recent legislative changes, represent a dramatic and

fundamental transformation of the rights of gay and lesbian Californians. It is a

remarkable achievement of the legislative process that the law now expressly

recognizes that domestic partners have the same substantive rights and obligations

as spouses.

The majority, however, fails to give full and fair consideration to the DPA.

Indeed, the majority says its conclusion that “California’s current recognition that

gay individuals are entitled to equal and nondiscriminatory legal treatment” is not

grounded on the DPA. (Maj. opn., ante, at p. 68.) Surely greater consideration is

due to legislation broadly proclaiming that “[r]egistered domestic partners shall

have the same rights, protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same

responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether they derive from

statutes, administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common

law, or any other provisions or sources of law, as are granted to and imposed upon

spouses.” (Fam. Code, § 297.5, subd. (a).) As the majority acknowledges, the

Legislature intended that the DPA be liberally applied, to secure for domestic

partners the full range of legal rights and responsibilities enjoyed by spouses.

(Maj. opn., ante, at pp. 38-39.)

This court has previously held that the “chief goal of the DPA is to equalize

the status of registered domestic partners and married couples.” (Koebke v.

Bernardo Heights Country Club (2005) 36 Cal.4th 824, 839.) In this case,

however, the majority fails to honor that goal. Instead of recognizing the equality

conferred by the Legislature, the majority denigrates domestic partnership as “only

a novel alternative designation . . . constituting significantly unequal treatment,”

2



and “a mark of second-class citizenship.” (Maj. opn., ante, at pp. 103, 104.)

Without foundation, the majority claims that to hold the domestic partnership laws

constitutional would be a statement “that it is permissible, under the law, for

society to treat gay individuals and same-sex couples differently from, and less

favorably than, heterosexual individuals and opposite-sex couples.” (Maj. opn.,

ante, at p. 118.) This is simply not so. The majority’s narrow and inaccurate

assertions are just the opposite of what the Legislature intended. To make its case

for a constitutional violation, the majority distorts and diminishes the historic

achievements of the DPA, and the efforts of those who worked so diligently to

pass it into law.

Domestic partnerships and marriages have the same legal standing,

granting to both heterosexual and homosexual couples a societal recognition of

their lifelong commitment. This parity does not violate the Constitution, it is in

keeping with it. Requiring the same substantive legal rights is, in my view, a

matter of equal protection. But this does not mean the traditional definition of

marriage is unconstitutional.

The majority refers to the race cases, from which our equal protection

jurisprudence has evolved. The analogy does not hold. The civil rights cases

banning racial discrimination were based on duly enacted amendments to the

United States Constitution, proposed by Congress and ratified by the people

through the states. To our nation’s great shame, many individuals and

governmental entities obdurately refused to follow these constitutional imperatives

for nearly a century. By overturning Jim Crow and other segregation laws, the

courts properly and courageously held the people accountable to their own

constitutional mandates. Here the situation is quite different. In less than a

decade, through the democratic process, same-sex couples have been given the

equal legal rights to which they are entitled.

In Perez v. Sharp (1948) 32 Cal.2d 711, we struck down a law prohibiting

interracial marriages. The majority places great reliance on the Perez court’s

3



statement that “the right to marry is the right to join in marriage with the person of

one’s choice.” (Id. at p. 715.) However, Perez and the many other cases

establishing the fundamental right to marry were all based on the common

understanding of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. (See maj. opn.,

ante, at pp. 54-63.) The majority recognizes this, as it must. (Id. at p. 66.)

Because those cases involved the traditional definition of marriage, they do not

support the majority’s analysis. The question here is whether the meaning of the

term as it was used in those cases must be changed.

What is unique about this case is that plaintiffs seek both to join the

institution of marriage and at the same time to alter its definition. The majority

maintains that plaintiffs are not attempting to change the existing institution of

marriage. (Maj. opn., ante, at p. 53.) This claim is irreconcilable with the

majority’s declaration that “[f]rom the beginning of California statehood, the legal

institution of civil marriage has been understood to refer to a relationship between

a man and a woman.” (Id. at p. 23, fn. omitted.) The people are entitled to

preserve this traditional understanding in the terminology of the law, recognizing

that same-sex and opposite-sex unions are different. What they are not entitled to

do is treat them differently under the law.

The distinction between substance and nomenclature makes this case

different from other civil rights cases. The definition of the rights to education, to

vote, to pursue an office or occupation, and the other celebrated civil rights

vindicated by the courts, were not altered by extending them to all races and both

genders. The institution of marriage was not fundamentally changed by removing

the racial restrictions that formerly encumbered it. Plaintiffs, however, seek to

change the definition of the marital relationship, as it has consistently been

understood, into something quite new. They could certainly accomplish such a

redefinition through the initiative process. As a voter, I might agree. But that

change is for the people to adopt, not for judges to dictate.

4



My view on this question of terminology rests on both an equal protection

analysis and a recognition of the appropriate scope of judicial authority. As a

matter of equal protection, while plaintiffs are in the same position as married

couples when it comes to the substantive legal rights and responsibilities of family

members, they are not in the same position with regard to the title of “marriage.”

“ ‘ “The concept of the equal protection of the laws compels recognition of the

proposition that persons similarly situated with respect to the legitimate purpose of

the law receive like treatment.” ’ [Citation.] ‘The first prerequisite to a

meritorious claim under the equal protection clause is a showing that the state has

adopted a classification that affects two or more similarly situated groups in an

unequal manner.’ [Citations.] This initial inquiry is not whether persons are

similarly situated for all purposes, but ‘whether they are similarly situated for

purposes of the law challenged.’ [Citation.]” (Cooley v. Superior Court (2002) 29

Cal.4th 228, 253; see also Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center, Inc. (1985) 473

U.S. 432, 439.)

The legitimate purpose of the statutes defining marriage is to preserve the

traditional understanding of the institution.2 For that purpose, plaintiffs are not

similarly situated with spouses. While their unions are of equal legal dignity, they

are different because they join partners of the same gender. Plaintiffs are in the

process of founding a new tradition, unfettered by the boundaries of the old one.

The majority relegates the threshold question of “similar situation” to a

footnote, observing that “[b]oth groups at issue consist of pairs of individuals who

wish to enter into a formal, legally binding and officially recognized, long-term

2 The majority recognizes that these statutes were not enacted with an

invidious purpose. (Maj. opn., ante, at p. 118, fn. 73.) Thus, this is not a case like
Mulkey v. Reitman (1966) 64 Cal.2d 529, where this court declared an initiative
measure unconstitutional because it was enacted “with the clear intent to overturn
state laws” prohibiting racial discrimination. (Id. at p. 534.)

5



family relationship that affords the same rights and privileges and imposes the

same obligations and responsibilities.” (Maj. opn., ante, at p. 83, fn. 54.) The

majority ignores the fact that plaintiffs already have those rights and privileges

under the DPA. The majority aptly articulates how domestic partnerships and

marriages are the same. But it fails to recognize that this case involves only the

names of those unions. The fact that plaintiffs enjoy equal substantive rights does

not situate them similarly with married couples in terms of the traditional

designation of marriage. Society may, if it chooses, recognize that some legally

authorized familial relationships unite partners of the same gender while others

join partners of opposite sexes. There is nothing pernicious or constitutionally

defective in this approach.3

The voters who passed Proposition 22 not long ago decided to keep the

meaning of marriage as it has always been understood in California. The majority

improperly infringes on the prerogative of the voters by overriding their decision.

It does that which it acknowledges it should not do: it redefines marriage because

it believes marriage should be redefined. (See maj. opn., ante, at pp. 4-5, 109.) It

justifies its decision by finding a constitutional infirmity where none exists.

Plaintiffs are free to take their case to the people, to let them vote on whether they

are now ready to accept such a redefinition. Californians have legalized domestic

partnership, but decided not to call it “marriage.” Four votes on this court should

3 The majority correctly observes that if plaintiffs are not similarly situated

to married couples for the purpose of the laws they challenge, those laws are
insulated from equal protection review. (Maj. opn., ante, at p. 83, fn. 54.) That is
the purpose of the well-settled requirement that plaintiffs making an equal
protection claim first show that they are similarly situated. (Cooley v. Superior
Court
, supra, 29 Cal.4th at p. 253.) It is particularly appropriate for us to refrain
from employing equal protection doctrine to thwart the will of the voters in this
case. Whether the institution of marriage should be expanded to include same-sex
couples is a question properly reserved for the political process.

6



not disturb the balance reached by the democratic process, a balance that is still

being tested in the political arena.4

Certainly initiative measures are not immune from constitutional review.

However, we should hesitate to use our authority to take one side in an ongoing

political debate. The accommodation of disparate views is democracy’s essential

challenge. Democracy is never more tested than when its citizens honestly

disagree, based on deeply held beliefs. In such circumstances, the legislative

process should be given leeway to work out the differences. It is inappropriate for

the judiciary to interrupt that process and impose the views of its individual

members, while the opinions of the people are still evolving.

Restraint is the hallmark of constitutional review. “[I]f the judiciary is to

fulfill its role in our tripartite system of government as the final arbiter of

constitutional issues, it cannot hope to escape the tension between legislative

policy determinations and the challenges raised by those who would seek

exceptions thereto. We can, however, while entertaining such challenges, seek to

hold the tension in check by always presuming the constitutional validity of

legislative acts and resolving doubts in favor of the statute.” (Dawn D. v. Superior

Court (1998) 17 Cal.4th 932, 939, italics added.)

The majority abandons this judicious approach. Instead of presuming the

validity of the statutes defining marriage and establishing domestic partnership, in

effect the majority presumes them to be constitutionally invalid by characterizing

domestic partnership as a “mark of second-class citizenship.” (Maj. opn., ante, at

p. 118.) This judicial presumption contravenes the express intent of the

Legislature to equalize the rights of spouses and domestic partners.

4 The majority details the latest legislative and gubernatorial moves, which

occurred in 2005 and 2007. (Maj. opn., ante, at pp. 29-30, fn. 17.)

7



The principle of judicial restraint is a covenant between judges and the

people from whom their power derives. It protects the people against judicial

overreaching. It is no answer to say that judges can break the covenant so long as

they are enlightened or well-meaning.

The process of reform and familiarization should go forward in the

legislative sphere and in society at large. We are in the midst of a major social

change. Societies seldom make such changes smoothly. For some the process is

frustratingly slow. For others it is jarringly fast. In a democracy, the people

should be given a fair chance to set the pace of change without judicial

interference. That is the way democracies work. Ideas are proposed, debated,

tested. Often new ideas are initially resisted, only to be ultimately embraced. But

when ideas are imposed, opposition hardens and progress may be hampered.

We should allow the significant achievements embodied in the domestic

partnership statutes to continue to take root. If there is to be a new understanding

of the meaning of marriage in California, it should develop among the people of

our state and find its expression at the ballot box.

















CORRIGAN, J.

8



See last page for addresses and telephone numbers for counsel who argued in Supreme Court.

Name of Opinion In re Marriage Cases
__________________________________________________________________________________

Unpublished Opinion

Original Appeal
Original Proceeding
Review Granted
XXX 143 Cal.App.4th 873
Rehearing Granted
__________________________________________________________________________________

Opinion No.
S147999
Date Filed: May 15, 2008
__________________________________________________________________________________

Court:
Superior
County: San Francisco
Judge: Richard A. Kramer
__________________________________________________________________________________

Attorneys for Appellant:

Alliance Defense Fund, Benjamin W. Bull, Glen Lavy, Timothy Donald Chandler, Christopher R. Stovall,
Dale Schowengerdt; Advocates for Faith and Freedom, Robert Henry Tyler; Law Offices of Terry L.
Thompson, Terry L. Thompson; Law Offices of Andrew P. Pugno and Andrew P. Pugno for Plaintiff and
Appellant Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Jay Alan Sekulow, Stuart J. Roth, Laura B. Hernandez, Vincent P. McCarthy, Kristina J. Wenberg; Schuler
and Brown and John D. Hardy for American Center for Law & Justice as Amicus Curiae on behalf of
Plaintiff and Appellant Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Stewart & Stewart and John Stewart for Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality, Parents and
Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays and Evergreen International as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiff and
Appellant Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Liberty Counsel, Mathew D. Staver, Rena M. Lindevaldsen and Mary E. McAlister for Plaintiff and
Appellant Campaign for California Families.

Kevin T. Snider and Matthew B. McReynolds for Pacific Justice Institute and Capitol Resource Institute as
Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Appellants Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund and
Campaign for California Families.

Bill Lockyer and Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Attorneys General, Manuel M. Medeiros, State Solicitor General,
David S. Chaney, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Louis R. Mauro, Stacy Boulware Eurie and
Christopher E. Krueger, Assistant Attorneys General, James M. Humes, Douglas J. Woods, Kathleen A.
Lynch, Hirem M. Patel and Zackery P. Morazzini, Deputy Attorneys General, for Defendant and Appellant
State of California.

Kenneth W. Starr; Kirton & McConkie and Alexander Dushku for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-
Day Saints, California Catholic Conference, National Association of Evangelicals and Union of Orthodox
Jewish Congregations of America as Amici Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Appellant State of
California.




Page 2 - S147999 – counsel continued

Attorneys for Appellant:

Marriage Law Foundation and Monte N. Stewart for United Families International, Family Watch
International and Family Leader Foundation as Amici Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Appellant State of
California.

Natalie A. Panossian for Professors of Law Douglas W. Kmiec, Helen M. Alvare, George W. Dent, Jr.,
Stephen G. Calabresi, Steven B. Presser and Lynn D. Wardle as Amici Curiae on behalf of Defendant and
Appellant State of California.

Mazur & Mazur, Janice R. Mazur and William E. Mazur, Jr., for Leland Traiman and Stewart Blandon as
Amici Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Appellant State of California.

Keker & Van Nest and Jon B. Streeter for Professor Jesse H. Choper as Amicus Curiae on behalf of
Defendant and Appellant State of California.

The Western Center for Law & Policy, Dean R. Broyles and James M. Griffiths for California Ethnic
Religious Organizations for Marriage, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, African-
American High Impact Leadership Coalition, Korean Church Coalition for North Korea Freedom, Council
of Korean Churches in Southern California, Traditional Family Coalition, Chinese Family Alliance,
America Chinese Evangelical Seminary, The Lord’s Grace Christian Church of Mountain View, Grace
Gospel Christian Church at San Mateo, Mandarin Baptist Church, Home of Christ Church at Saratoga,
Fremont Chinese Evangelical Free Church, West Valley Christian Alliance Church, Evangelical Free
Church of San Francisco, San Francisco Agape Christian Church, HIS Foundation and Chinese Christians
for Justice as Amici Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Appellant State of California.

Jeffrey N. Daly for Professors of Law John Coverdale, Scott Fitzgibbon, Martin R. Gardner, Kris W.
Kobach, Earl M. Maltz, Laurence C. Nolan and John Randall Trahan as Amici Curiae on behalf of
Defendant and Appellant State of California.

Wild, Carter & Tipton, Patrick J. Gorman; Thomas More Society, Thomas Brejcha and Paul Benjamin
Linton for Knights of Columbus as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Appellant State of
California.

The Claremont Institute Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, John C. Eastman; Institute for Marriage
and Public Policy and Joshua K. Baker for Legal and Family Scholars James Q. Wilson, Douglas Allen,
Hadley P. Arkes, David Blankenhorn, Steven G. Calabresi, Lloyd R. Cohen, David K. DeWolf, Edward J.
Erler, Robert P. George, Bernard E. Jacob, William H. Jeynes, Leon R. Kass, Charles Kesler, Douglas W.
Kmiec, Daniel Hays Lowenstein, David Popenoe, Stephen B. Presser, Katherine Shaw Spaht and Thomas
G. West as Amici Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Appellant State of California.

Brian Chavez-Ochoa and Steven W. Fitschen for The National Legal Foundation as Amicus Curiae on
behalf of Defendant and Appellant State of California.

Derek L. Gaubatz and Roger Severino for The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty as Amicus Curiae on
behalf of Defendant and Appellant State of California.

Robert A. Destro and Lincoln C. Oliphant for African-American Pastors in California Reverend Joshua
Beckley, Pastor Dr. Timothy Winters, Pastor Chuck Singleton and Pastor Dr. Raymond W. Turner as
Amicus Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Appellant State of California.




Page 3 - S147999 – counsel continued

Attorneys for Appellant:

Mennemeier, Glassman & Stroud, Kenneth C. Mennemeier, Andrew W. Stroud and Kelcie M. Gosling for
Defendants and Appellants Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and State Registrar of Vital Statistics
Teresita Trinidad.

Sterling E. Norris for Judicial Watch, Inc., as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Defendants and Appellants State
of California and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
__________________________________________________________________________________

Attorneys for Respondent:

Allred, Maroko & Goldberg, Gloria Allred, Michael Maroko and John Steven West for Plaintiffs and
Respondents Robin Tyler, Diane Olson, Troy Perry and Phillip De Blieck.

Heller Ehrman, Stephen V. Bomse, Richard Denatale, Christopher F. Stoll, David J. Simon, Ryan R.
Tacorda; National Center for Lesbian Rights, Shannon Minter, Vanessa H. Eisemann, Melanie Rowen,
Catherine Sakimura, Courtney Joslin; Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc., Jon W. Davidson,
Jennifer C. Pizer; ACLU Foundation of Southern California, Christine P. Sun, Peter J. Eliasberg, Clare
Pastore; ACLU Foundation of Northern California, Tamara Lange, Alan L. Schlosser, Alex M. Cleghorn;
Steefel, Levitt & Weiss, Dena Narbaitz, Clyde J. Wadsworth; Law Office of David C. Codell and David C.
Codell for Plaintiffs and Respondents Lancy Woo, Cristy Chung, Joshua Rymer, Tim Frazer, Jewelle
Gomez, Diane Sabin, Myra Beals, Ida Matson, Arthur Frederick Adams, Devin Wayne Baker, Jeanne
Rizzo, Pali Cooper, Karen Shain, Jody Sokolower, Janet Wallace, Deborah Hart, Corey Davis, Andre
LeJeune, Rachel Lederman, Alexsis Beach, Stuart Gaffney, John Lewis, Phyllis Lyon, Del Martin, Sarah
Conner, Gillian Smith, Margot McShane, Alexandra D'Amario, David Scott Chandler, Jeffery Wayne
Chandler, Theresa Michelle Petry, Cristal Rivera-Mitchel, Our Family Coalition and Equality California.

Law Offices of Waukeen Q. McCoy, Waukeen Q. McCoy, Aldon L. Bolanos; Paul, Hanley & Harley and
Jason E. Hasley for Plaintiffs and Respondents Gregory Clinton, Gregory Morris, Anthony Bernan,
Andrew Neugenbauer, Stephanie O'Brien, Janet Levy, Joseph Faulkner, Arthur Healey, Kristen Anderson,
Michele Bettega, Derrik Anderson and Wayne Edfors II.

Natalie F. P. Gilfoyle; Jenner & Block, Paul M. Smith, William M. Hohengarten and Anjan Choudhury for
American Psychological Association, California Psychological Association, American Psychiatric
Association, National Association of Social Workers and National Association of Social Workers,
California Chapter as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Respondents.

O’Melveny & Myers, Peter Obstler, Nikhil Shanbhag, Flora Vigo, Jee Young You; John D. Trasvina,
Cynthia A. Valenzuela; Law Office of Ellen Forman Obstler and Ellen Forman Obstler for Asian American
Justice Center, Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Asian and
Pacific Islander Lesbian, Bisexual Women and Transgender Network, Asian Pacific Islander Pride Council,
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Equal Justice Society, Japanese American Bar Association,
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, Multicultural Bar Alliance of Los
Angeles, People for the American Way Foundation, United Lesbians of African Heritage, Ventura Black
Attorneys Association, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Aguilas, Bienestar
Human Services, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, La Raza Centro Legal, National Black Justice
Coalition, National Lawyers Guild of San Francisco and Zuna Institute as Amici Curiae on behalf of
Plaintiffs and Respondents.




Page 4 – counsel continued - S147999

Attorneys for Respondent:

Sideman & Bancroft and Diana E. Richmond for American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Northern
California Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and California District of the
American Academy of Pediatrics as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Respondents.

Covington & Burling, Sonya D. Winner, David M. Jolley and Erin C. Smith for American Psychoanalytic
Association, American Anthropological Association and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San
Francisco Bay Area as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Respondents.

Proskauer Rose, Clifford S. Davidson, Scott P. Cooper, Bert H. Deixler, Gil N. Peles, Lary Alan Rappaport
and Lois D. Thompson for Anti-Defamation League, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, Sacramento
Gay and Lesbian Center, San Diego Lesbian Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, San
Francisco LGBT Community Center, Billy DeFrank Center, The Gay and Lesbian Center of Greater Long
Beach, Desert Pride Center, Lighthouse Community Pride Center, The Pacific Center and Stanislaus Pride
Center as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Respondents.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, Kevin M. Fong; Daisy J. Hung, Victor M. Hwang; Karin H. Wang and
Julie Su for Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, Asian Pacific American Bar
Association of Los Angeles County, Asian Pacific Bar Association of Silicon Valley, Japanese American
Bar Association of Greater Los Angeles, Korean American Bar Association of Southern California,
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego, Philippine American
Bar Association, South Asian Bar Association of Northern California, South Asian Bar Association of San
Diego, South Asian Bar Association of Southern California, Southern California Chinese Lawyers
Association, Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California, Asian Equality, Asian Pacific
Islander Legal Outreach, API Equality, API Equality-SF, Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice,
Asian Law Alliance, Asian Law Caucus, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance-Alameda, Asian Pacific
Islander Family Pride, Asian Pacific Islander Wellness Center, Asian Women’s Shelter, Chinese for
Affirmative Action, Chinese Progressive Association, Filipinos for Affirmative Action, Gay Asian Pacific
Alliance, Institute for Leadership Development and Study of Pacific Asian North American Religion,
Korean Community Center of the East Bay, My Sister’s House, Asian Pacific American Legal Center,
Asian/Pacific Bar of California, API Equality-LA, Asian American Institute, Asian American Justice
Center, Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California, Asian American Legal Defense and
Education Fund, Asian American Psychological Association, Asian American Queer Women Activists,
Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Asian and Pacific Islander Lesbian, Bisexual Women
and Transgender Network, Asian and Pacific Islander Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Asian
Pacific AIDS Intervention Team, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance-Los Angeles, Asian Pacific
Americans for Progress-Los Angeles, Asian Pacific Islander Pride Council, Asian Pacific Policy &
Planning Council, Asian Pacific Women’s Center, Center for the Pacific Asian Family, Asian Youth
Promoting Advocacy and Leadership, Conference of Asian Pacific American Law Faculty, Gay Asian
Pacific Support Network, Japanese American Citizens League, Khmer Girls in Action, Korean Resource
Center, Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance, National Asian Pacific American Law Student
Association, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, National Korean American Service &
Education Consortium, Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Community Alliance, Organization of
Chinese Americans San Francisco Chapter, Satrang, South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow, South
Asian Network, Southeast Asian Community Alliance, Southeast Asian Community Center and Southeast
Asia Resource Action Center as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Respondents.




Page 5 – counsel continued - S147999

Attorneys for Respondent:

Munger, Tolles & Olson, Jerome C. Roth and Daniel J. Powell for Bay Area Lawyers for Individual
Freedom, Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere, The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund,
Family Pride, Freedom to Marry, Human Rights Campaign, Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Legal
Aid Society-Employment Law Center, Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Marriage
Equality USA, The National Lesbian and Gay Law Association, Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians
and Gays, Inc., People for the American Way Foundation , Pride at Work, SacLEGAL and Tom Homann
Law Association as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Respondents.

Greines, Martin, Stein & Richland, Irving Greines and Cynthia E. Tobisman for Beverly Hills Bar
Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, California
Women Lawyers and Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs
and Respondents.

Vicky Barker; Jennifer K. Brown, Deborah A. Widiss, Julie F. Kay; Irma D. Herrera; Irell & Manella,
Laura W. Brill, Elizabeth L. Rosenblatt, Douglas NeJaime, Michael Bacchus, Richard M. Simon; and
Herma Hill Kay for California Women’s Law Center, Legal Momentum, Equal Rights Advocates, The
Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center and Queen’s Bench Bar Association of the San Francisco Bay
Area as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Respondents.

Remcho, Johansen & Purcell, James C. Harrison, Thomas A. Willis and Kari Krogseng for Senators Elaine
Alquist, Ellen Corbett, Christine Kehoe, Sheila Kuehl, Carole Migden and Darrell Steinberg and
Assemblymembers Noreen Evans, Loni Hancock, Jared W. Huffman, Dave Jones, John Laird, Mark Leno,
Sally J. Lieber, Fiona Ma, Anthony J. Portantino and Lori Saldana as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs
and Respondents.

Eva Paterson, Tobias Barrington Wolff; McDermott Will & Emery, Anthony de Alcuaz, Rory K. Little and
Bijal V. Vakil for Equal Justice Society as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Respondents.

Weixel Law Office, James V. Weixel, Jr.; Chapman, Popik & White, Susan M. Popik, Merri A. Baldwin;
Mary L. Bonauto, Bennett H. Klein and Jamson Wu for Equality Federation and Gay and Lesbian
Advocates & Defenders as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Respondents.

Joseph R. Grodin as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Respondents.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Jeffrey F. Webb, Wendy L. Wallace, Sarah Piepmeier, Meghan Blanco and
Douglas Champion for Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere, MassEquality, National Gay and
Lesbian Task Force, Freedom to Marry, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates and Levi Strauss & Co., as
Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Respondents.

Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, Walter Rieman, Roberta A. Kaplan, Andrew J. Ehrlich; Theodore
M. Shaw and Victor A. Bolden for NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., as Amicus Curiae
on behalf of Plaintiffs and Respondents.

Eisenberg and Hancock, Jon B. Eisenberg and William N. Hancock for California State Conference of the
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and
Respondents.




Page 6 – counsel continued - S147999

Attorneys for Respondent:

Winston & Strawn, Michael S. Brophy, Peter E. Perkowski; Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic and Suzanne
B. Goldberg for The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Foundation as Amicus Curiae on behalf of
Plaintiffs and Respondents.

Stanford Constitutional Law Center and Kathleen M. Sullivan for Professors of Constitutional Law Pamela
S. Karlan, Paul Brest, Alan E. Brownstein, William Cohen, David B. Cruz, Mary L. Dudziak, Susan R.
Estrich, David Faigman, Philip B. Frickey, Ronald R. Garet, Kenneth L. Karst, Goodwin Liu, Lawrence C.
Marshall, Radkiha Rao, Jonathan D. Varat and Adam Winkler as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and
Respondents.

Herma Hill Kay and Michael S. Wald for Professors of Family Law Scott Altman, R. Richard Banks, Grace
Ganz Blumberg, Janet Bowermaster, Carol S. Bruch, Jan C. Costello, Barbara J. Cox, Jay Folberg, Deborah
L. Forman, Joan H. Hollinger, Lisa Ikemoto, Courtney G. Joslin, Jan Kosel, Lawrence Levine, Maya
Manian, Mary Ann Mason, John Myers, E. Gary Spitko, D. Kelly Weisberg, Lois Weithorn and Michael
Zamperini as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Respondents.

Noah B. Novogrodsky; Cassel, Brock & Blackwell, Laurie J. Livingstone; Morrison & Foerster, Ruth N.
Borenstein, Paul S. Marchegiani and Vincent J. Novak for The University of Toronto, Faculty of Law
International Human Rights Clinic, Professors of International Law William Aceves, Brenda Cossman,
Sujit Choudhry, Chai Feldblum, Mayo Moran, Hari Osofsky, Jaya Ramji-Nogales, Margaret Satterthwaite,
Robert Wintemute, Beth van Schaack, Paul Schiff Berman, Barbara Cox, Kenji Yoshino and Women’s
Institute For Leadership Development as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Respondents.

McManis Faulkner & Morgan, James McManis and Christine Peek for Santa Clara County Bar Association
as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Respondents.

Caldwell Leslie & Proctor, Christopher G. Caldwell and Linda M. Burrow for Professor William N.
Eskridge, Jr., as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Respondents.

Manning & Marder, Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Scott Wm. Davenport, Darin L. Wessel and Jason J. Molnar for
The Southern Poverty Law Center as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Respondents.

Raoul D. Kennedy, Elizabeth Harlan, Nelson R. Richards, Joren S. Bass, Philip A. Leider, Michael D.
Meuti, Stephen Lee; HoenningerLaw, Jo Ann Hoenninger; Eric Alan Isaacson; and Reverend Silvio
Nardoni for Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons, Al-Fatiha Foundation, Dignity USA, Alliance of
Baptists, Brethren Mennonite Council for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Interests, Clergy
United, Inc., Executive Committee of the American Friends Service Committee, Gay and Lesbian
Vaishnava Association, General Synod of the United Church of Christ, Hebrew Union College-Institute for
Judaism and Sexual Orientation, Integrity USA, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, Lutherans
Concerned/North America, More Light Presbyterians, Muslims for Progressive Values, National Coalition
of American Nuns, Network of Spiritual Progressives, New Ways Ministry, Religion-Outside-The-Box,
Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing, Seventh-day Adventist Kinship, International
Inc., Soka Gakkai International-USA, The Rabbinical Assembly, The Union for Reform Judaism, Unitarian
Universalist Association of Congregations, Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, United Centers of
Spiritual Living, Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, Association of Welcoming
& Affirming Baptists (Bay Area), California Church IMPACT, California Council of Churches, California
Faith for Equality, Council of Churches of Santa Clara County, Friends Committee on Legislation of
California, Jews for Marriage Equality (Southern California), Metropolitan Community Church
(California/Region One), More Light Presbyterian Chapter of Pacific Presbytery, Pacific Central District




Page 7 – counsel continued - S147999

Attorneys for Respondent:

Chapter of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, Pacific Central West Council of the Union for
Reform Judaism, Pacific Southwest Council of the Union for Reform Judaism, Pacific Southwest District
Chapter of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, Progressive Christians Uniting, Progressive
Jewish Alliance-California, Reconciling Ministries Clergy of the California-Nevada Conference of the
United Methodist Church, Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry-California, United Church of Christ-
Southern California/Nevada Conference, All Saints Episcopal Church, All Saints Independent Catholic
Parish, All Saints Metropolitan Community Church, Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits, Berkeley
Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, Buena Vista United Methodist Church, Chalice Unitarian
Universalist Congregation, Christ the Shepherd Lutheran Church, Church of the Brethren of San Diego,
College Avenue Congregational Church United Church of Christ, Community Church of Atascadero
United Church of Christ, Community Presbyterian Church, Conejo Valley Unitarian Universalist
Fellowship, UCC Community Church of Atascadero, Congregation Beth Chayim Chadashim,
Congregation Kol Ami, Congregation Sha'ar Zahav, Congregation Shir Hadash, Conejo Valley Unitarian
Universalist Fellowship Faith in Action Committee, Diamond Bar United Church of Christ, Dolores Street
Baptist Church, Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church, First Christian Church of San Jose Disciples of
Christ, First Congregational Church, First Congregational United Church of Christ, First Mennonite Church
of San Francisco, First Presbyterian Church, First Unitarian Church of Oakland, First Unitarian
Universalist Church of San Diego, First Unitarian Church of San Jose, First Unitarian Universalist Church
of Stockton, First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco, Humboldt Unitarian Universalist
Fellowship, Inner Light Ministries, Kol Hadash Community for Humanistic Judaism, Lutherans
Concerned/Los Angeles, Metropolitan Community Church in the Valley, Metropolitan Community Church
of San Jose, Metropolitan Community Church Los Angeles, Monte Vista Unitarian Universalist
Congregation Board of Trustees, Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church, Mt. Hollywood Congregational
Church United Church of Christ, Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church Board of Trustees, Niles
Congregational Church United Church of Christ, Pacific School of Religion, Pacific Unitarian Church,
Parkside Community Church, United Church of Christ, Peninsula Metropolitan Community Church,
Pilgrim United Church of Christ, Religious Society of Friends/Quakers Pacific Yearly Meeting, San
Leandro Community Church, Sierra Foothills Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Berkeley Unitarian
Universalist Fellowship Social Justice Committee, Social Justice Ministry at First Church, St. Bede’s
Episcopal Church, St. Francis Lutheran Church, St. John Evangelist Episcopal Church, St. John’s
Presbyterian Church, St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Starr King
School for the Ministry, Starr King Unitarian Universalist Church, Temple Beth Hillel, The Center for
Spiritual Awareness, The Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples, The Ecumenical Catholic Church, The
Session (Governing Body) of West Hollywood Presbyterian Church, Trinity Lutheran Church, Unitarian
Society of Santa Barbara, Unitarian Universalist Church of Anaheim Board of Trustees, Unitarian
Universalist Church of Berkeley Board of Trustees, Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis, Unitarian
Universalist Church of the Desert, Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno, Unitarian Universalist Church
of Long Beach Board of Trustees, Unitarian Universalist Church of the Monterey Peninsula, Unitarian
Universalist Church of Palo Alto, Universalist Unitarian Church of Riverside Board of Trustees, Unitarian
Universalist Church of Ventura Board of Trustees, Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains,
Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Sacramento, Unitarian Universalist Community Church of
Santa Monica, Unitarian Universalist Community Church of South County, Unitarian Universalist
Congregation of Marin, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Rosa, Unitarian Universalist
Fellowship of Kern County, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Laguna Beach, Unitarian Universalist
Fellowship of Redwood City, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Diequito Welcoming Congregation
Committee, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Luis Obispo County Board of Trustees, Unitarian
Universalist Fellowship of Stanislaus County, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Visalia, Unitarian
Universalists of San Mateo, Unitarian Universalists of Santa Clarita, Unitarian Universalist Society of
Sacramento, United Church of Christ in Simi Valley, Unity in the Gold Country, Universalist Unitarian
Church of Santa Paula, University Lutheran Chapel, Valley Ministries




Page 8 – counsel continued - S147999

Attorneys for Respondent:

Metropolitan Community Church, Rabbi Mona Alfi, Reverend Dr. Pam Allen-Thompson, Reverend Rachel
Anderson, Reverend Sky Anderson, Rabbi Camille Angel, Rabbi Melanie Aron, Reverend Joy Atkinson,
Reverend Dr. Brian Baker, Reverend Elizabeth O’Shaughnessy Banks, Reverend K. G. Banwart, Jr.,
Reverend Canon Michael Barlowe, William H. Bartosh, Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, Reverend Chris Bell,
Reverend JD Benson, Rabbi Linda Bertenthal, Pastor LeAnn Blackert, Reverend Dr. Dorsey O. Blake,
Reverend James E. Boline, Pastor Kenny A. Bowen, Reverend Susan Brecht, Pastor Paul Brenner, Rabbi
Rick Brody, Reverend Dr. Ken Brown, Reverend Kevin Bucy, Reverend Jim Burklo, Nancy Burns,
Reverend Dr. R. A. Butziger, Reverend Becky Cameron, Reverend Canon Grant S. Carey, Reverend
Matthew M. Conrad, Reverend Helen Carroll, Rabbi Ari Cartun, Reverend Lauren Chaffee, Reverend
Craig B. Chapman, Reverend Barbara M. Cheatham, Reverend Jan Christian, Reverend Bea Chun,
Reverend June M. Clark, Reverend Anne G. Cohen, Rabbi Helen T. Cohn, Reverend Carolyn Colbert,
Reverend Kenneth W. Collier, Reverend Dr. Gary B. Collins, Reverend Mary P. Conant, Rabbi Susan S.
Conforti, Reverend Meghan Conrad, Rabbi Laurie Coskey, Reverend Lyn Cox, Reverend Sofia
Craethnenn, Reverend Susan Craig, Reverend Robbie Cranch, Reverend Alexie Crane, Reverend Matthew
Crary, Reverend Robert Crouch, Reverend Dr. Donald J. Dallmann, Reverend Cinnamon Daniel, Reverend
Diann Davisson, Pastor Jerry De Jong, Rabbi Lavey Derby, Reverend Susan Wolfe Devol, Reverend
Frances A. Dew, Reverend Brian K. Dixon, Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Reverend Terri Echelbarger, Rabbi Lisa A.
Edwards, Reverend Leroy Egenberger, Rabbi Denise Eger, Reverend Michael Ellard, Diana Elrod,
Reverend Stefanie Etzbach-Dale, Pastor Brenda Evans, Interim Minister Mark Evens, Reverend Renae
Extrum-Fernandez, Reverend John Fanestil, Reverend Jerry Farrell, Reverend Lydia Ferrante-Roseberry,
Reverend Michelle Favreult, Reverend Jeanne Favreau-Sorville, Rabbi Joel Fleekop, Reverend Dr. Yvette
Flunder, Reverend Dr. John Forney, Reverend Jerry Fox, Reverend Canon Winifred B. Gaines, Reverend
Ronn Garton, Rabbi Laura Geller, Reverend Diana Gibson, Reverend Dr. Robert Goldstein, Reverend Dr.
Robert Goss, Reverend Dr. June Goudey, Reverend Robert C. Grabowski, Reverend Constance L. Grant,
Reverend James Grant, Rabbi Bruce DePriester Greenbaum, Reverend William Greer, Reverend Dr. Ron
Griffen, Thomas Grogan, Reverend Clyde E. Grubbs, Reverend Sara Haldeman-Scarr, Reverend Caroline
Hall, Reverend Dr. Susan Hamilton, Reverend Bill Hamilton-Holway, Reverend Barbara Hamilton-
Holway, Reverend Bet Hannon, Reverend Dr. Andrew F. Headden, Reverend Dr. Kathy Hearn, Reverend
Jane Heckles, Rabbi Alan Henkin, Reverend Erika Hewitt, Rabbi Jay Heyman, Reverend Carol C. Hilton,
Reverend Anne Felton Hines, Reverend Katie Hines-Shah, Reverend Martha Hodges, Reverend Jackie
Holland, Reverend Marcia Hootman, Reverend Laura Horton-Ludwig, Reverend Sherri Hostetler,
Reverend Ricky Hoyt, Reverend Kathy Huff, Minister Victoria Ingram, Reverend Keith Inouye, Reverend
Steve Islander, Reverend Alyson E. Jacks, Rabbi Steven B. Jacobs, Berget Jelane, Reverend Bryan D.
Jessup, Reverend Jeff Johnson, Reverend Beth Johnson, Reverend Deborah L. Johnson, Reverend Nancy
Palmer Jones, Reverend Alan H. Jones, Reverend Roger Jones, Reverend Julie Kain, Reverend Kathryn
Kandarian, Rabbi Jim Kaufman, Reverend John M. Kauffman, Reverend Canon Kathleen Kelly, Rabbi
Paul Kipnes, Reverend John Kirkley, Reverend Benjamin A. Kocs-Meyers, Rabbi Douglas Kohn,
Reverend Vicky Kolakowski, Reverend Douglas C. B. Kraft, Reverend Kurt Kuhwald, Joel L. Kushner,
Reverend Richard Kuykendall, Reverend Peter Laarman, Rabbi Susan Laemmle, Rabbi Howard Laibson,
Reverend Darcey Laine, Pastor Scott Landis, Rabbi Moshe Levin, Reverend Tom Lewis, Reverend
Catherine Linesch, Rabbi Michael Lotker, Reverend Marguerite Lovett, Reverend Carol Lowe, Rabbi
Barry Lutz, Reverend Max Lynn, Reverend Ken MacLean, Rabbi Tamar Malino, Dr. Anthony Manousos,
Reverend Luther J. Martell, Reverend Elder Debbie Martin, Pastor Michael-Ray Mathews, Reverend
Russell Matteson, Rabbi Brian Zachary Mayer, Reverend Gregory W. McGonigle, Reverend Joseph
McGowan, Reverend Janet Gollery McKeithen, Reverend Margo McKenna, Reverend William McKinney,
Reverend Susan Meeter, Rabbi Norman Mendel, Pastor Ross D. Merkel, Reverend Eric H. Meter, Charles
Metz, Reverend Judith Meyer, Reverend Barbara F. Meyers, Reverend Elisabeth Middleberg, Reverend
Beth Miller, David Miller,




Page 9 – counsel continued - S147999

Attorneys for Respondent:

Reverend Diane Miller, Reverend Terri Miller, Reverend John Millspaugh, Reverend Dr. Curt Miner,
Rabbi Michelle Missaghieh, Reverend Sarah Moldenhauer-Salazar, Reverend Douglas J. Monroe,
Reverend John Morehouse, Reverend Amy Zucker Morgenstern, Reverend David Moss, Reverend James
A. Nelson, Reverend Drew Nettinga, Reverend Canon James A. Newman, Reverend Julia Older, Reverend
Dr. Claudene F. Oliva, Reverend Elaine O’Rourke, Reverend Donna Owen, Reverend Dr. Carolyn S.
Owen-Towle, Reverend Tom Owen-Towle, Reverend Kathleen Owens, Reverend Nancy Palmer Jones,
Reverend Dr. Rebecca Parker, Reverend Ken Pennings, Reverend John Perez, Reverend Hannah Petrie,
Reverend Jay K. Pierce, Reverend Ernest Pipes, Reverend Mary Elizabeth Pratt-Horsley, Reverend Georgia
Prescott, Reverend Dr. Lisa Presley, Reverend Carolyn Price, Reverend Sherry Prud’homme, Reverend
Jane Quandt, Reverend Fred Rabidoux, Reverend Lindi Ramsden, Rabbi Lawrence Raphael, Reverend
George F. Regas, Reverend Dr. Mark Richardson, Reverend Scott Richardson, Reverend Bear Ride, Philip
Boo Riley, Cantor Aviva Rosenbloom, Reverend John Robinson, Reverend Carol Rudisill, Reverend Susan
Russell, Reverend Gerald Sakamoto, Reverend David Sammons, Lee Marie Sanchez, Reverend William C.
Sanford, Reverend Charles Schepel, Reverend Michael Schiefelbein, Reverend Dr. Rick Schlosser,
Reverend Brian Scott, Reverend Thomas Schmidt, Reverend Craig Scott, Reverend Wayna Scovell,
Reverend Michael Schuenemeyer, Reverend Dr. Steven Shepard, Dr. John M. Sherwood, Reverend Mark
Shirilau, Reverend Robert Shively, Reverend Madison Shockley II, Reverend Grace Simons, Reverend
Bruce J. Simpson, Reverend Dan Smith, Reverend Linda Snyder, Reverend Jeffrey Spencer, Reverend June
Stanford-Clark, Reverend Dr. Betty Stapleford, Reverend Stanley Stefancic, Rabbi Ron Stern, Reverend
Gregory L. Stewart, Reverend Bob Stiles, Reverend Janine Stock, Reverend Arvid Straube, Reverend Dr.
Archer Summers, Reverend Steven Swope, Reverend Paul Tellstrom, Reverend Margo Tenold, Reverend
Byrd Tetzlaff, Reverend Neil Thomas, Reverend David Thompson, Reverend Mary Lynn Tobin, Mary A.
Tolbert, Reverend Tarah Trueblood, Reverend Lynn Ungar, Reverend Nada Velimirovic, Reverend Jane E.
Voigts, Reverend Canon Lynell Walker, Reverend Greg Ward, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Reverend Theodore
A. Webb, Reverend Dr. Petra Weldes, Reverend Vail Weller, Reverend Roger Wharton, Reverend Bets
Wienecke, Reverend Lee Williamson, Reverend Elder Nancy Wilson, Rope Wolf, Reverend Ned Wright,
Rabbi Bridget Wynne and Reverend Michael Yoshi as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and
Respondents.

Dennis J. Herrera, City Attorney, Therese M. Stewart, Chief Deputy City Attorney, Danny Chou, Chief of
Appellate Litigation, Julia M. C. Friedlander, Kathleen S. Morris, Sherri Sokeland Kaiser and Vince
Chhabria, Deputy City Attorneys; Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin, Bobbie J. Wilson
and Amy Margolin for Defendant and Respondent City and County of San Francisco.

R. Bradley Sears and Clifford J. Rosky for M. V. Lee Badgett and Gary J. Gates as Amici Curiae on behalf
of Defendant and Respondent City and County of San Francisco.

Aderson B. Francois; Altshuler Berzon, Michael Rubin and Barbara J. Chisholm for Howard University
School of Law Civil Rights Clinic as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Respondent City and
County of San Francisco.

Nanci L. Clarence; Law Offices of Amitai Schwartz and Amitai Schwartz for Bar Association of San
Francisco as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Respondent City and County of San Francisco.

Ronald A. Lindsay and Edward Tabash for Council for Secular Humanism and Center for Inquiry as Amici
Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Respondent City and County of San Francisco.




Page 10 – counsel continued - S147999

Attorneys for Respondent:

Michael Jenkins and J. Stephen Lewis for City of Los Angeles, City of San Diego, City of San Jose, City of
Long Beach, City of Oakland, City of Santa Rosa, City of Berkeley, City of Santa Monica, City of Santa
Cruz, City of Palm Springs, City of West Hollywood, City of Signal Hill, City of Sebastopol, Town of
Fairfax, City of Cloverdale, County of Santa Clara, County of San Mateo, County of Santa Cruz and
County of Marin as Amici Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Respondent City and County of San
Francisco.

Thomas J. Kuna-Jacob as Amicus Curiae.







Counsel who argued in Supreme Court (not intended for publication with opinion):

Glen Lavy
Alliance Defense Fund
15333 North Pima Road, Suite 165
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
(480) 444-0020

Mathew D. Staver
Liberty Counsel
1055 Maitland Center Commons, Second Floor
Maitland, FL 32751
(800) 671-1776

Christopher E. Krueger
Assistant Attorney General
1300 I Street, Suite 125
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
(916) 445-7385

Kenneth C. Mennemeier
Mennemeier, Glassman & Stroud
980 9th street, Suite 1700
Sacramento, CA 95814-2736
(916) 553-4000

Michael Maroko
Allred, Maroko & Goldberg
6300 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1500
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 653-6530

Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 392-6257

Waukeen Q. McCoy
Law Offices of Waukeen C. McCoy
703 Market Street, Suite 1407
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 675-7705

Therese M. Stewart
Chief Deputy City Attorney
City Hall, Room 234
One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102-4682
(415) 554-4708


Petitions for review after the Court of Appeal reversed and affirmed judgments in civil actions. This case includes the following issue: Does California's statutory ban on marriage between two persons of the same sex violate the California Constitution by denying equal protection of the laws on the basis of sexual orientation or sex, by infringing on the fundamental right to marry, or by denying the right to privacy and freedom of expression?

Opinion Information
Date:Citation:Docket Number:Category:Status:Cross Referenced Cases:
Thu, 05/15/200843 Cal. 4th 757, 183 P.3d 384, 76 Cal. Rptr. 3d 683S147999Review - Civil Appealclosed; remittitur issued

CLINTON v. STATE OF CALIFORNIA (S135205)
SAN FRANCISCO, CITY OF v. STATE OF CALIFORNIA (S135207)


Parties
1City & County Of San Francisco (Petitioner)
Represented by Therese Marie Stewart
Office of the City Attorney
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, #234
San Francisco, CA

2City & County Of San Francisco (Petitioner)
Represented by Danny Yeh Chou
Office of the City Attorney
1390 Market Streeet, 7th Floor
San Francisco, CA

3City & County Of San Francisco (Petitioner)
Represented by Sherri Sokeland Kaiser
Office of the City Attorney
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, #234
San Francisco, CA

4City & County Of San Francisco (Petitioner)
Represented by Bobbie Jean Wilson
Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin
3 Embarcadero Center, 7th Floor
San Francisco, CA

5State Of California (Respondent)
Represented by Christopher Edward Krueger
Office of the Attorney General
1300 "I" Street, Room 125
Sacramento, CA

6Schwarzenegger, Arnold (Respondent)
Represented by Kenneth C. Mennemeier
Mennemeier Glassman et al.
980 Ninth Street, Suite 1700
Sacramento, CA

7Proposition 22 Legal Defense & Education Fund (Respondent)
Represented by Glen Lavy
Alliance Defense Fund
15100 N. 90th Street
Scottsdale, AZ

8Proposition 22 Legal Defense & Education Fund (Respondent)
Represented by Benjamin W. Bull
Alliance Defense Fund
15100 N. 90th Street
Scottsdale, AZ

9Proposition 22 Legal Defense & Education Fund (Respondent)
Represented by Timothy Donald Chandler
Alliance Defense Fund
101 Parkshore Drive, Suite 100
Folsom, CA

10Proposition 22 Legal Defense & Education Fund (Respondent)
Represented by Andrew P. Pugno
Law Offices of Andrew P. Pugno
101 Parkshore Drive, Suite 100
Folsom, CA

11Proposition 22 Legal Defense & Education Fund (Respondent)
Represented by Terry L Thompson
Law Offices of Terry L. Thompson
1804 Piedras Circle
Alamo, CA

12Proposition 22 Legal Defense & Education Fund (Respondent)
Represented by Robert Henry Tyler
Attorney at Law
24910 Loas Brisas Road, Suite 110
Murietta, CA

13Campaign For California Families (Respondent)
Represented by Mathew D. Staver
Liberty Counsel
1055 Maitland Center Commons, 2nd Floor
Maitland, FL

14Campaign For California Families (Respondent)
Represented by Ross S. Heckmann
Attorney at Law
1214 Valencia Way
Arcadia, CA

15Campaign For California Families (Respondent)
Represented by Rena M. Lindevaldsen
Liberty Counsel
100 Mountain View Road, Suite 2775
Lynchburg, VA

16Campaign For California Families (Respondent)
Represented by Mary Elizabeth Mcalister
Attorney at Law
100 Mountain View Road, Suite 2775
Lynchburg, VA

17Rymer, Joshua (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

18Rymer, Joshua (Petitioner)
Represented by Stephen V. Bomse
Heller Ehrman White & McAuiffe, LLP
333 Bush Street
San Francisco, CA

19Rymer, Joshua (Petitioner)
Represented by David Charles Codell
Law Office of David C. Codell
9200 Sunset Boulevard, Penthouse 2
Los Angeles, CA

20Rymer, Joshua (Petitioner)
Represented by Jon Warren Davidson
Lambda Legal Defense & Education Foundation
3325 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1300
Los Angeles, CA

21Rymer, Joshua (Petitioner)
Represented by Vanessa Helene Eisemann
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

22Rymer, Joshua (Petitioner)
Represented by Peter J. Eliasberg
ACLU Foundation of Southern California
1616 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA

23Rymer, Joshua (Petitioner)
Represented by Jennifer Carol Pizer
Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc.
3325 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1300
Los Angeles, CA

24Rymer, Joshua (Petitioner)
Represented by Alan L. Schlosser
ACLU Foundation of Northern California, Inc.
39 Drumm Street
San Francisco, CA

25Frazer, Tim (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

26Frazer, Tim (Petitioner)
Represented by Stephen V. Bomse
Heller Ehrman White & McAuiffe, LLP
333 Bush Street
San Francisco, CA

27Clinton, Gregory (Petitioner)
Represented by Waukeen Q. Mccoy
Law Office of Waukeen Q. McCoy
703 Market Street, Suite 1407
San Francisco, CA

28Clinton, Gregory (Petitioner)
Represented by Jason Elkins Hasley
Paul, Hanley & Harley
1608 Fourth Street, Suite 300
Berkeley, CA

29Equality California (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

30Tyler, Robin (Petitioner)
Represented by Gloria Allred
Allred Maroko & Goldberg
6300 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1500
Los Angeles, CA

31Tyler, Robin (Petitioner)
Represented by Michael Maroko
Allred Maroko & Goldberg
6300 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1500
Los Angeles, CA

32Perry, Troy (Petitioner)
Represented by Gloria Allred
Allred Maroko & Goldberg
6300 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1500
Los Angeles, CA

33Perry, Troy (Petitioner)
Represented by Michael Maroko
Allred Maroko & Goldberg
6300 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1500
Los Angeles, CA

34Olson, Diane (Petitioner)
Represented by Gloria Allred
Allred Maroko & Goldberg
6300 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1500
Los Angeles, CA

35Olson, Diane (Petitioner)
Represented by Michael Maroko
Allred Maroko & Goldberg
6300 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1500
Los Angeles, CA

36Deblieck, Phillip (Petitioner)
Represented by Gloria Allred
Allred Maroko & Goldberg
6300 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1500
Los Angeles, CA

37Deblieck, Phillip (Petitioner)
Represented by Michael Maroko
Allred Maroko & Goldberg
6300 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1500
Los Angeles, CA

38Equal Justice Society (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Eva Jefferson Paterson
Equal Justice Society
220 Sansome Street, 14th Floor
San Francisco, CA

39Equal Justice Society (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Tobias Barrington Wolff
Equal Justice Society
220 Sansome Street, 14th Floor
San Francisco, CA

40Bay Area Lawyers For Individual Freedom (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jerome C. Roth
Munger Tolles & Olson
33 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA

41Thomasson, Randy (Respondent)
Represented by Mathew D. Staver
Liberty Counsel
1055 Maitland Center Commons, 2nd Floor
Maitland, FL

42Thomasson, Randy (Respondent)
Represented by Ross S. Heckmann
Attorney at Law
1214 Valencia Way
Arcadia, CA

43Thomasson, Randy (Respondent)
Represented by Rena M. Lindevaldsen
Liberty Counsel
100 Mountain View Road, Suite 2775
Longwood, FL

44Knights Of Columbus (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Patrick John Gorman
Wild Carter & Tipton
246 W. Shaw Avenue
Fresno, CA

45Knights Of Columbus (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Thomas Brejcha
Thomas More Society
29 S. LaSalle Street Suite 440
Chicago, IL

46Knights Of Columbus (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Paul Benjamin Linton
Thomas More Society
921 Keystone Avenue
Nortthbrook, IL

47Judicial Watch, Inc. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Sterling Norris
Attorney at Law
2540 Huntington Drive Suite 201
San Marino, CA

48Southern Poverty Law Center (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Scott William Davenport
Manning & Marder et al., LLP
1 Park Plaza, Suite 500
Irvine, CA

49Bar Association Of San Francisco (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Amitai Schwartz
Bar Association of San Francisco
2000 Powell Street, Suite 1286
Emeryville, CA

50Bar Association Of San Francisco (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Nanci L. Clarence
Clarence & Snell
899 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA

51Council For Secular Humanism (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Edward Z. Tabash
Attorney at Law
8484 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 850
Beverly Hills, CA

52Center For Inquiry (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Edward Z. Tabash
Attorney at Law
8484 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 850
Beverly Hills, CA

53American Center For Law & Justice (Amicus curiae)
Represented by John David Hardy
Law Offices of Schuler & Brown
7100 Hayvenhurst Avenue, Suite 310
Van Nuys, CA

54American Center For Law & Justice (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Laura Hernandez
American Center for Law & Justice
1000 Regent Unversity Dr. RH, Suite 422
Virgina Beach, VA

55American Center For Law & Justice (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Vincent Mccarthy
American Center for Law & Justice
11 West Chestnut Hill Road
Litchfield, CT

56American Center For Law & Justice (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Stuart J. Roth
American Center for Law & Justice
201 Maryland Avenue, N.E.
Washington, DC

57American Center For Law & Justice (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jay Alan Sekulow
American Center for Law & Justice
201 Maryland Avenue, N.E.
Washington, DC

58American Academy Of Matrimonial Lawyers (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Diana Richmond
Sideman & Bancroft, LLP
1 Embarcadero Center, Suite 860
San Francisco, CA

59California District Of The American Academy Of Pediatrics (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Diana Richmond
Sideman & Bancroft, LLP
1 Embarcadero Center, Suite 860
San Francisco, CA

60National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jon B. Eisenberg
Eisenberg & Hancock, LLP
1970 Broadway, Suite 1200
Oakland, CA

61African-American Pastors In California (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Robert Anthony Destro
Catholic University of America
School of Law
Washington, DC

62Coverdale, John (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jeffrey Nash Daly
Attorney at Law
352 Ignacio Boulevard
Novato, CA

63Fitzgibbon, Scott (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jeffrey Nash Daly
Attorney at Law
352 Ignacio Boulevard
Novato, CA

64Gardner, Martin R. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jeffrey Nash Daly
Attorney at Law
352 Ignacio Boulevard
Novato, CA

65Maltz, Earl M. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jeffrey Nash Daly
Attorney at Law
352 Ignacio Boulevard
Novato, CA

66Nolan, Laurence C. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jeffrey Nash Daly
Attorney at Law
352 Ignacio Boulevard
Novato, CA

67Trahan, John Randall (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jeffrey Nash Daly
Attorney at Law
352 Ignacio Boulevard
Novato, CA

68Kobach, Kris W. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jeffrey Nash Daly
Attorney at Law
352 Ignacio Boulevard
Novato, CA

69Equality Federation (Amicus curiae)
Represented by James V. Weixel
Weixel Law Office
2370 Market Street, Suite 133
San Francisco, CA

70Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Peter Obstler
O'Melveny & Myers, LLP
275 Battery Street, 26th Floor
San Francisco, CA

71Aguilas (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Peter Obstler
O'Melveny & Myers, LLP
275 Battery Street, 26th Floor
San Francisco, CA

72Bienstar Human Services (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Peter Obstler
O'Melveny & Myers, LLP
275 Battery Street, 26th Floor
San Francisco, CA

73La Raza Centro Legal (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Peter Obstler
O'Melveny & Myers, LLP
275 Battery Street, 26th Floor
San Francisco, CA

74National Black Justice Coalition (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Peter Obstler
O'Melveny & Myers, LLP
275 Battery Street, 26th Floor
San Francisco, CA

75Zuna Institute (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Peter Obstler
O'Melveny & Myers, LLP
275 Battery Street, 26th Floor
San Francisco, CA

76National Lawyers Guild Of San Francisco (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Peter Obstler
O'Melveny & Myers, LLP
275 Battery Street, 26th Floor
San Francisco, CA

77California Ethnic Religious Organization For Marriage (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Dean Robert Broyles
Law Office of Dean R. Broyles
300 W. Grant Avenue, Suite 200
Escondido, CA

78Traiman, Leland (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Janice R. Mazur
Mazur & Mazur
13465 Camino Canada, No. 106-103
El Cajon, CA

79Blandon, Stewart (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Janice R. Mazur
Mazur & Mazur
13465 Camino Canada, No. 106-103
El Cajon, CA

80Children Of Lesbians & Gays Everywhere (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jerome C. Roth
Munger Tolles & Olson
33 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA

81Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jerome C. Roth
Munger Tolles & Olson
33 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA

82Family Pride (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jerome C. Roth
Munger Tolles & Olson
33 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA

83Freedom To Marry (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jerome C. Roth
Munger Tolles & Olson
33 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA

84Human Rights Campaign (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jerome C. Roth
Munger Tolles & Olson
33 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA

85Human Rights Campaign Foundation (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jerome C. Roth
Munger Tolles & Olson
33 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA

86Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jerome C. Roth
Munger Tolles & Olson
33 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA

87Lesbian & Gay Lawyers Association Of Los Angeles (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jerome C. Roth
Munger Tolles & Olson
33 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA

88Marriage Equality Usa (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jerome C. Roth
Munger Tolles & Olson
33 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA

89National Lesbian & Gay Law Assocation (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jerome C. Roth
Munger Tolles & Olson
33 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA

90Parents, Families & Friends Of Lesbians & Gays, Inc. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jerome C. Roth
Munger Tolles & Olson
33 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA

91People For The American Way Foundation (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jerome C. Roth
Munger Tolles & Olson
33 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA

92Pride At Work (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jerome C. Roth
Munger Tolles & Olson
33 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA

93Saclegal (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jerome C. Roth
Munger Tolles & Olson
33 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA

94Tom Homann Law Association (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jerome C. Roth
Munger Tolles & Olson
560 Mission Street, 27th Floor
San Francisco, CA

95Kmiec, Douglas W. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Natalie Aghavni Panossian
Polk Scheer & Prober
4391 Clearwood Drive
Moorpark, CA

96Alvare, Helen M. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Natalie Aghavni Panossian
Attorney at Law
4391 Clearwood Drive
Moorpark, CA

97Dent, George W. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Natalie Aghavni Panossian
Attorney at Law
4391 Clearwood Drive
Moorpark, CA

98Calabresi, Stephen G. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Natalie Aghavni Panossian
Attorney at Law
4391 Clearwood Drive
Moorpark, CA

99Presser, Steven B. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Natalie Aghavni Panossian
Attorney at Law
4391 Clearwood Drive
Moorpark, CA

100Asian American Bar Association Of The Greater Bay Area (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kevin M. Fong
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP
P.O. Box 7880
San Francisco, CA

101Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kevin M. Fong
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP
P.O. Box 7880
San Francisco, CA

102Wardle, Lynn D. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Natalie Aghavni Panossian
Attorney at Law
4391 Clearwood Drive
Moorpark, CA

103United Families International (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Monte Neil Stewart
Marriage Law Foundation
1426 East 820 North
Orem, UT

104Family Watch International (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Monte Neil Stewart
Marriage Law Foundation
1426 East 820 North
Orem, UT

105Family Leader Foundation (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Monte Neil Stewart
Marriage Law Foundation
1426 East 820 North
Orem, UT

106Alquist, Elaine (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kari Lynn Krogseng
Remcho, Johansen, & Purcell, LLP
201 Dolares Avenue
San Leandro, CA

107Corbett, Ellen (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kari Lynn Krogseng
Remcho, Johansen, & Purcell, LLP
201 Dolores Avenue
San Leandro, CA

108Kehoe, Christine (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kari Lynn Krogseng
Remcho, Johansen, & Purcell , LLP
201 Dolores Avenue
San Leandro, CA

109Kuehl, Sheila (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kari Lynn Krogseng
Remcho, Johansen, & Purcell, LLP
201 Dolores Avenue
San Leandro, CA

110Migden, Carole (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kari Lynn Krogseng
Remcho, Johanse, & Purcell, LLP
201 Dolores Avenue
San Leandro, CA

111Steinberg, Darrell (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kari Lynn Krogseng
Remcho, Johanse, & Purcell, LLP
201 Dolores Avenue
San Leandro, CA

112Evans, Noreen (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kari Lynn Krogseng
Remcho, Johanse & Purcell, LLP
201 Dolores Avenue
San Leandro, CA

113Eskridge, William N. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Linda Marie Burrow
Caldwell Leslie Newcombe & Pettit, PC
1000 Wilshire Boulevard Suite 600
Los Angeles, CA

114Hancock, Loni (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kari Lynn Krogseng
Remcho, Johansen & Purcell, LLP
201 Dolores Avenue
San Leandro, CA

115Huffman, Jared W. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kari Lynn Krogseng
Remcho, Johansen & Purcell, LLP
201 Dolores Avenue
San Leandro, CA

116Jones, Dave (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kari Lynn Krogseng
Remcho, Johansen & Purcell, LLP
201 Dolores Avenue
San Leandro, CA

117Laird, John (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kari Lynn Krogseng
Remcho, Johansen & Purcell, LLP
201 Dolores Avenue
San Leandro, CA

118Leno, Mark (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kari Lynn Krogseng
Remcho, Johansen & Purcell, LLP
201 Dolores Avenue
San Leandro, CA

119Lieber, Sally J. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kari Lynn Krogseng
Remcho, Johansen & Purcell, LLP
201 Dolores Avenue
San Leandro, CA

120Ma, Fiona (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kari Lynn Krogseng
Remcho, Johansen & Purcell, LLP
201 Dolores Avenue
San Leandro, CA

121Portantino, Anthony J. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kari Lynn Krogseng
Remcho, Johansen & Purcell, LLP
201 Dolores Avenue
San Leandro, CA

122Saldana, Lori (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kari Lynn Krogseng
Remcho, Johansen & Purcell, LLP
201 Dolores Avenue
San Leandro, CA

123Wilson, James Q. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Joshua Kirk Baker
Institute for Marriage and Public Policy
P.O. Box 1231
Manassas, VA

124Legal & Family Scholars (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Joshua Kirk Baker
Institute for Marriage and Public Policy
P.O. Box 1231
Manassas, VA

125Unitarian Univeralist Association Of Congregations (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Raoul D. Kennedy
Skadden Arps Slate Meaghter & Flom, LLP
4 Embarcadero Center, Suite 3800
San Francisco, CA

126General Synod Of The United Church Of Christ (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Raoul D. Kennedy
Skadden Arps Slate Meaghter & Flom, LLP
4 Embarcadero Center, Suite 3800
San Francisco, CA

127Union For Reform Judaism (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Raoul D. Kennedy
Skadden Arps Slate Meaghter & Flom, LLP
4 Embarcadero Center, Suite 3800
San Francisco, CA

128Soka Gakkahi International-Usa (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Raoul D. Kennedy
Skadden Arps Slate Meaghter & Flom, LLP
4 Embarcadero Center, Suite 3800
San Francisco, CA

129Universal Fellowship Of Metropolitan Community Churches (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Raoul D. Kennedy
Skadden Arps Slate Meaghter & Flom, LLP
4 Embarcadero Center, Suite 3800
San Francisco, CA

130California Council Of Churches (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Raoul D. Kennedy
Skadden Arps Slate Meaghter & Flom, LLP
4 Embarcadero Center, Suite 3800
San Francisco, CA

131California Faith For Equality (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Raoul D. Kennedy
Skadden Arps Slate Meaghter & Flom, LLP
4 Embarcadero Center, Suite 3800
San Francisco, CA

132Professors Of International Law (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Paul Stephan Marchegiani
Morrison & Foerster, LLP
425 Market Street
San Francisco, CA

133University Of Toronto, Faculty Of Law Human Rights Clinic (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Paul Stephan Marchegiani
Morrison & Foerster, LLP
425 Market Street
San Francisco, CA

134American Psychoanalytic Association (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Sonya Diane Winner
Covington & Burling
1 Front Street
San Francisco, CA

135American Anthropological Association (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Sonya Diane Winner
Covington & Burling
1 Front Street
San Francisco, CA

136Lawyers Committee For Civil Rights (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Sonya Diane Winner
Covington & Burling
1 Front Street
San Francisco, CA

137Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kenneth Winston Starr
Pepperdine University/School of Law
24569 Via De Casa
Malibu, CA

138California Catholic Conference (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kenneth Winston Starr
Pepperdine University/School of Law
24569 Via De Casa
Malibu, CA

139National Association Of Evangelicals (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kenneth Winston Starr
Pepperdine University/School of Law
24569 Via De Casa
Malibu, CA

140Union Of Orthodox Jewish Congregations Of America (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kenneth Winston Starr
Pepperdine University/School of Law
24569 Via De Casa
Malibu, CA

141City Of Los Angeles (Amicus curiae)
Represented by John Stephen Lewis
City of West Hollywood - RSD
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA

142City Of San Diego (Amicus curiae)
Represented by John Stephen Lewis
City of West Hollywood - RSD
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA

143City Of San Jose (Amicus curiae)
Represented by John Stephen Lewis
City of West Hollywood - RSD
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA

144City Of Long Beach (Amicus curiae)
Represented by John Stephen Lewis
City of West Hollywood - RSD
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA

145City Of Oakland (Amicus curiae)
Represented by John Stephen Lewis
City of West Hollywood - RSD
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA

146City Of Santa Rosa (Amicus curiae)
Represented by John Stephen Lewis
City of West Hollywood - RSD
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA

147City Of Berkeley (Amicus curiae)
Represented by John Stephen Lewis
City of West Hollywood - RSD
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA

148City Of Santa Monica (Amicus curiae)
Represented by John Stephen Lewis
City of West Hollywood - RSD
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA

149City Of Santa Cruz (Amicus curiae)
Represented by John Stephen Lewis
City of West Hollywood - RSD
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA

150City Of Palm Springs (Amicus curiae)
Represented by John Stephen Lewis
City of West Hollywood - RSD
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA

151City Of West Hollywood (Amicus curiae)
Represented by John Stephen Lewis
City of West Hollywood - RSD
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA

152City Of Signal Hill (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Lawrence James Mcclure
City of West Hollywood
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA

153City Of Sebastopol (Amicus curiae)
Represented by John Stephen Lewis
City of West Hollywood - RSD
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA

154Town Of Fairfax (Amicus curiae)
Represented by John Stephen Lewis
City of West Hollywood - RSD
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA

155City Of Cloverdale (Amicus curiae)
Represented by John Stephen Lewis
City of West Hollywood - RSD
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA

156County Of Santa Clara (Amicus curiae)
Represented by John Stephen Lewis
City of West Hollywood - RSD
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA

157County Of San Mateo (Amicus curiae)
Represented by John Stephen Lewis
City of West Hollywood - RSD
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA

158County Of Santa Cruz (Amicus curiae)
Represented by John Stephen Lewis
City of West Hollywood - RSD
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA

159County Of Marin (Amicus curiae)
Represented by John Stephen Lewis
City of West Hollywood - RSD
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA

160Anti-Defamation League (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Clifford Scott Davidson
Proskauer Rose, LLP
2049 Century Park East, 32nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA

161Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Clifford Scott Davidson
Proskauer Rose, LLP
2049 Century Park East, 32nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA

162Sacramento Gay & Lesbian Center (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Clifford Scott Davidson
Proskauer Rose, LLP
2049 Century Park East, 32nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA

163San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Ctr (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Clifford Scott Davidson
Proskauer Rose, LLP
2049 Century Park East, 32nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA

164San Francisco Lgbt Community Center (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Clifford Scott Davidson
Proskauer Rose, LLP
2049 Century Park East, 32nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA

165Billy Defrank Center (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Clifford Scott Davidson
Proskauer Rose, LLP
2049 Century Park East, 32nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA

166Gay & Lesbian Center Of Greater Long Beach (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Clifford Scott Davidson
Proskauer Rose, LLP
2049 Century Park East, 32nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA

167Desert Pride Center (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Clifford Scott Davidson
Proskauer Rose, LLP
2049 Century Park East, 32nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA

168Lighthouse Community Pride Center (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Clifford Scott Davidson
Proskauer Rose, LLP
2049 Century Park East, 32nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA

169Pacific Center (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Clifford Scott Davidson
Proskauer Rose, LLP
2049 Century Park East, 32nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA

170Stanislaus Pride Center (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Clifford Scott Davidson
Proskauer Rose, LLP
2049 Century Park East, 32nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA

171American Psychological Association (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Anjan Choudhury
Attorney at Law
601 Thirteenth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC

172American Psychological Association (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Nathalie F. P. Gulfoyle
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, N.E.
Washington, DC

173California Psychological Association (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Anjan Choudhury
Attorney at Law
601 Thirteenth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC

174American Psychiatric Association (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Anjan Choudhury
Jenner & Block, LLP
601 Thirteenth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC

175American Psychiatric Association (Amicus curiae)
Represented by William M. Hohengarten
Jenner & Block, LLP
601 Thirteenth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC

176American Psychiatric Association (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Paul M. Smith
Jenner & Block, LLP
601 Thirteenth Street, N.W.
Washington , DC

177National Association Of Social Workers, California Chapter (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Anjan Choudhury
Attorney at Law
601 Thirteenth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC

178Professors Of Family Law (Amicus curiae)
179National Legal Foundation (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Brian Ricardo Chavez-Ochoa
The National Legal Foundation
2224 Virginai Beach Boulevard, Suite 204
Virginia Beach, VA

180Becket Fund For Religious Liberty (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Roger T. Severino
Attorney at Law
1350 Connecticut Avenue N.W., Suite 605
Washington, DC

181Becket Fund For Religious Liberty (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Derek Lewis Gaubatz
Attorney at Law
4605 Breithorne Court
Gen Allen, VA

182Naacp Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Walter Ryerson Rieman
Paul Weiss Rifkind et al.
1285 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY

183Naacp Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Victor A. Bolden
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
99 Hudson Street Suite 1600
New York, NY

184Naacp Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Andrew J. Ehrlich
Paul Weiss Rifkind ,et al.
1285 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY

185Naacp Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Roberta A. Kaplan
Paul Weiss Rifkind et al.
1285 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY

186Out & Equal Workplace Advocates (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jeffrey F. Webb
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, LLP
333 S. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA

187Levi Strauss Company (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jeffrey F. Webb
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, LLP
333 S. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA

188Beverly Hills Bar Association (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Irving H. Greines
Greines Martin et al., LLP
5700 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 375
Los Angeles, CA

189Beverly Hills Bar Association (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Cynthia Tobisman
Greines Martin et al., LLP
5700 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 375
Los Angeles, CA

190Howard University School Of Law Civil Rights Clinic (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Barbara Jane Chisholm
Altshuler Berzon et al.
177 Post Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA

191Choper, Jesse H. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Jon B. Streeter
Keker & Van Nest
710 Sansome Street
San Francisco, CA

192Grodin, Joseph R. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Joseph R. Grodin
Hastings College of Law
200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA

193Professors Of Constitutional Law (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kathleen Marie Sullivan
Stanford Law School
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA

194Jews Offering New Alternatives To Homosexuality (Amicus curiae)
Represented by John Mark Stewart
Stewart & Stewart
333 City Boulevard West, 17th Floor
Orange, CA

195California Womens Law Center (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Elizabeth Lee Rosenblatt
Irell & Manella, LLP
1800 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles, CA

196Badgett, M. V. Lee (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Clifford J. Rosky
4465-17th Street # 6
4465-17th Street # 6
San Francisco, CA

197National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Foundation (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Michael Scott Brophy
Winston & Strawn, LLP
333 S. Grand Avenue, 38th Floor
Los Angeles, CA

198National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Foundation (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Suzanne B. Goldberg
Attorney at Law
435 West 116th Street
New York, NY

199Santa Clara County Bar Association (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Christine Elizabeth Peek
McManis Faulkner & Morgan
50 W. San Fernando Street, 10th Floor
San Jose, CA

200Pacific Justice Institute (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Matthew Brown Mcreynolds
Pacific Justice Institute
P.O. Box 276600
Sacramento, CA

201Coalition For Human Immigrant Rights (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Peter Obstler
O'Melveny & Myers, LLP
275 Battery Street, 26th Floor
San Francisco, CA

202Capitol Resource Institute (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Matthew Brown Mcreynolds
Pacific Justice Institute
P.O. Box 276600
Sacramento, CA

203Los Angeles County Bar Association (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Irving H. Greines
Greines Martin Stein & Richland LLP
5700 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 375
Los Angeles, CA

204San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Irving H. Greines
Greines Martin et al., LLP
5700 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 375
Los Angeles, CA

205California Women Lawyers (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Irving H. Greines
Greines Martin et al., LLP
5700 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 375
Los Angeles, CA

206Women Lawyers Association Of Los Angeles (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Irving H. Greines
Greines Martin et al., LLP
5700 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 375
Los Angeles, CA

207Parents & Friends Of Ex-Gays & Gays (Amicus curiae)
Represented by John Mark Stewart
Stewart & Stewart
333 City Boulevard West, 17th Floor
Orange, CA

208Evergreen International (Amicus curiae)
Represented by John Mark Stewart
Stewart & Stewart
333 City Boulevard West, 17th Floor
Orange, CA

209Equal Rights Advocates (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Elizabeth Lee Rosenblatt
Irell & Manella, LLP
1800 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 900
Los Angeles, CA

210Legal Momentum (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Elizabeth Lee Rosenblatt
Irell & Manella, LLP
1800 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles, CA

211Karlan, Pamela S. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kathleen Marie Sullivan
Stanford Law School
559 Nathan Abbot Way
Stanford, CA

212Brest, Paul (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kathleen Marie Sullivan
Stanford Law School
559 Nathan Abbot Way
Stanford, CA

213Brownstein, Alan E. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kathleen Marie Sullivan
Stanford Law School
559 Nathan Law School
Stanford, CA

214Cohen, William (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kathleen Marie Sullivan
Stanford Law School
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA

215Cruz, David B. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kathleen Marie Sullivan
Stanford Law School
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA

216Dudziak, Mary L. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kathleen Marie Sullivan
Stanford Law School
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA

217Estrich, Susan R. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kathleen Marie Sullivan
Stanford Law School
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA

218Faigman, David (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kathleen Marie Sullivan
Stanford Law School
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA

219Frickey, Philip B. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kathleen Marie Sullivan
Stanford Law School
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA

220Garet, Ronald R. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kathleen Marie Sullivan
Stanford Law School
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA

221Karst, Kenneth L. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kathleen Marie Sullivan
Stanford Law School
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA

222Liu, Goodwin (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kathleen Marie Sullivan
Stanford Law School
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA

223Marshall, Lawrence C. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kathleen Marie Sullivan
Stanford Law School
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA

224Rao, Radkiha (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kathleen Marie Sullivan
Stanford Law School
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA

225Sullivan, Kathleen M. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kathleen Marie Sullivan
Stanford Law School
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA

226Varat, Jonathan D. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kathleen Marie Sullivan
Stanford Law School
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA

227Winkler, Adam (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kathleen Marie Sullivan
Stanford Law School
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA

228Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (Amicus curiae)
Represented by James V. Weixel
Weixel Law Office
2370 Market Street Suite 133
San Francisco, CA

229City Of Davis (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Harriet A. Steiner
McDonough Holland & Allen
555 Capitol Mall, 9th Floor
Sacramento, CA

230San Francisco Chamber Of Commerce (Amicus curiae)
Represented by James Leon Lazarus
Attorney at Law
235 Montgomery Street, 12th Floor
San Francisco, CA

231City Of Sacramento (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Matthew David Ruyak
Senior Deputy City Attorney of Sacramento
915 "I" Street, Fourth Floor
Sacramento, CA

232Api Equality (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kevin M. Fong
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP
P.O. Box 7880
San Francisco, CA

233Api Equality - San Francisco (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kevin M. Fong
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP
P.O. Box 7880
San Francisco, CA

234Asian Communities For Reproductive Justice (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kevin M. Fong
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP
P.O. Box 7880
San Francisco, CA

235Asian Law Alliance (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kevin M. Fong
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP
P.O. Box 7880
San Francisco, CA

236Asian Law Caucus (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kevin M. Fong
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP
P.O. Box 7880
San Francisco, CA

237Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance - Alameda (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kevin M. Fong
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP
P.O. Box 7880
San Francisco, CA

238Asian Pacific Islander Family Pride (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kevin M. Fong
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP
P.O. Box 7880
San Francisco, CA

239Asian Pacific Islander Wellness Center (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kevin M. Fong
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP
P.O. Box 7880
San Francisco, CA

240Asian Womens Shelter (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kevin M. Fong
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP
P.O. Box 7880
San Francisco, CA

241Chinese For Affirmative Action (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kevin M. Fong
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP
P.O. Box 7880
San Francisco, CA

242Filipinos For Affirmative Action (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kevin M. Fong
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP
P.O. Box 7880
San Francisco, CA

243Chinese Progressive Association (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kevin M. Fong
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP
P.O. Box 7880
San Francisco, CA

244Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kevin M. Fong
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP
P.O. Box 7880
San Francisco, CA

245Institute For Leadership Development & Study (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kevin M. Fong
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP
P.O. Box 7880
San Francisco, CA

246National Association Of Social Workers (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Anjan Choudhury
Jenner & Block, LLP
601 Thirteenth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC

247Gates, Gary J. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Clifford J. Rosky
UCLA School of Law
405 Hilgard Avenue, Box 951476
Los Angeles, CA

248Trinidad, Teresita (Respondent)
Represented by Kenneth C. Mennemeier
Mennemeier Glassman et al.
980 Ninth Street, Suite 1700
Sacramento, CA

249Morris, Gregory (Petitioner)
Represented by Waukeen Q. Mccoy
Law Office of Waukeen Q. McCoy
703 Market Street, Suite 1407
San Francisco, CA

250Bernan, Anthony (Petitioner)
Represented by Waukeen Q. Mccoy
Law Office of Waukeen Q. McCoy
703 Market Street, Suite 1407
San Francisco, CA

251Neugenbauer, Andrew (Petitioner)
Represented by Waukeen Q. Mccoy
Law Office of Waukeen Q. McCoy
703 Market Street, Suite 1407
San Francisco, CA

252Anderson, Kristen (Petitioner)
Represented by Waukeen Q. Mccoy
Law Office of Waukeen Q. McCoy
703 Market Street, Suite 1407
San Francisco, CA

253Bettega, Michelle (Petitioner)
Represented by Waukeen Q. Mccoy
Law Office of Waukeen Q. McCoy
703 Market Street, Suite 1407
San Francisco, CA

254Obrien, Stephanie (Petitioner)
Represented by Waukeen Q. Mccoy
Law Office of Waukeen Q. McCoy
703 Market Street, Suite 1407
San Francisco, CA

255Levy, Janet (Petitioner)
Represented by Waukeen Q. Mccoy
Law Office of Waukeen Q. McCoy
703 Market Street, Suite 1407
San Francisco, CA

256Faulkner, Joseph (Petitioner)
Represented by Waukeen Q. Mccoy
Law Office of Waukeen Q. McCoy
703 Market Street, Suite 1407
San Francisco, CA

257Healey, Arthur (Petitioner)
Represented by Waukeen Q. Mccoy
Law Office of Waukeen Q. McCoy
703 Market Street, Suite 1407
San Francisco, CA

258Woo, Lancy (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

259Chung, Cristy (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

260Gomez, Jewelle (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

261Sabin, Diane (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

262Beals, Myra (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

263Matson, Ida (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

264Adams, Arthur Frederick (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

265Baker, Devin Wayne (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

266Rizzo, Jeanne (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

267Cooper, Pali (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

268Shain, Karen (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

269Sokolower, Jody (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

270Wallace, Janet (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

271Hart, Deborah (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

272Davis, Corey (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

273Lejeune, Andre (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

274Lederman, Rachel (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

275Beach, Alexsis (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

276Gaffney, Stuart (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

277Lewis, John (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

278Lyon, Phyllis (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

279Martin, Del (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

280Our Family Coalition (Petitioner)
Represented by Shannon Minter
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA

281Brown, Edmund G. (Respondent)
Represented by Christopher Edward Krueger
Office of the Attorney General
1300 "I" Street, Room 125
Sacramento, CA

282Rodrian, Michael (Respondent)
Represented by Christopher Edward Krueger
Office of the Attorney General
1300 "I" Street, Room 125
Sacramento, CA

283Newsom, Gavin (Petitioner)
Represented by Therese Marie Stewart
Office of the City Attorney
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, #234
San Francisco, CA

284Newsom, Gavin (Petitioner)
Represented by Sherri Sokeland Kaiser
Office of the City Attorney
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, #234
San Francisco, CA

285Alaska Office Of The Attorney General (Opinion Modification Requestor)
P.O. Box 110300
Juneau, AK 99811

286Colorado Office Of The Attorney General (Opinion Modification Requestor)
1525 Sherman Street, 7th Floor
Denver, CO 80203

287Florida Office Of The Attorney General (Opinion Modification Requestor)
The Capitol PL-01
Tallahassee, FL 32399

288Idaho Office Of The Attorney General (Opinion Modification Requestor)
700 W. State Street
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720

289Michigan Office Of The Attorney General (Opinion Modification Requestor)
525 W. Ottawa Street
P.O. Box 30212
Lansing, MI 48909

290Nebraska Office Of The Attorney General (Opinion Modification Requestor)
2115 State Capitol
Lincoln, NE 68509

291New Hampshire Office Of The Attorney General (Opinion Modification Requestor)
33 Capitol Street
Concord, NH 03301

292South Carolina Office Of The Attorney General (Opinion Modification Requestor)
1000 Assembly Street, Rm 519
Columbia, SC 29201

293South Dakota Office Of The Attorney General (Opinion Modification Requestor)
1302 E. Highway 14, Suite 1
Pierre, SD 57501

294Utah Office Of The Attorney General (Opinion Modification Requestor)
350 North State Street, Suite 230
Salt Lake City, UT 84114

295Missouri Attorney General (Opinion Modification Requestor)
P.O. Box 899
Jefferson City, MO 65102


Opinion Authors
OpinionChief Justice Ronald M. George
ConcurJustice Carol A. Corrigan, Justice Joyce L. Kennard, Justice Marvin R. Baxter
DissentJustice Carol A. Corrigan, Justice Marvin R. Baxter

Disposition
May 15 2008Opinion: Reversed

Dockets
Nov 13 2006Petition for review filed
  City and County of San Francisco, Respondent by Therese Stewart, counsel
Nov 13 2006Request for judicial notice received (pre-grant)
 
Nov 13 2006Record requested
 
Nov 14 20062nd petition for review filed
  counsel for appellant, Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund Andrew Pugno, counsel
Nov 14 2006Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice filed
  counsel for aplt. (Prop. 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund), Benjamin W. Bull and Glen Lavy
Nov 14 20063rd petition for review filed
  Joshua Rymer and Tim Frazer, respondent by Shannon Minter, counsel
Nov 14 20064th petition for review filed
  Gregory Clinton, et al., respondent by Waukeen Q. Mccoy, counsel
Nov 14 20065th petition for review filed
  Equality California, respondent by Shanon Minter, counsel
Nov 14 2006Joinder to petition filed
  Joinder in petitions of respondent City & County of San Francisco and respondents Lancy Woo, et al. (Rhymer & Frazer) filed by respondents Robin Tyler, et cl. attorney Gloria Allred
Nov 15 2006Received:
  Errata for Petition for Review for Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund by Andrew P. Pugno, counsel
Nov 22 20062nd record request
 
Nov 22 2006Received Court of Appeal record
  A110449-file jacket/briefs/two boxes
Dec 1 2006Filed:
  Plaintiff - Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund requesting to file consolidated answer by Timothy Chandler, counsel
Dec 1 2006Answer to petition for review filed
  Propostions 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund, plaintiffs by Timothy Chandler, counsel with permission
Dec 4 2006Application filed to:
  file one consolidated answer to petitions for review. Respondent, State of California, et. al. by Attorney General, Christopher E. Krueger.
Dec 4 2006Answer to petition for review filed with permission
  Consoldiated answer of Respondent, State of California, et al., by Deputy Attorney General, Christopher E. Krueger.
Dec 4 2006Request for depublication (petition for review pending)
  California Women's Law Center & Legal Momentum Attorney Elizabeth L. Rosenblatt
Dec 4 2006Answer to petition for review filed
  Appellant, Campaign for California Families by counsel, Mathew D. Staver (pro hac vice).
Dec 4 2006Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice filed
  Mathew D. Staver of Florida to appear on behalf of appellant, Campaign for California Families.
Dec 4 2006Answer to petition for review filed
  City and County of San Francisco, et al., respondent by Sherri Sokeland Kaiser, counsel
Dec 4 2006Answer to petition for review filed
  Respondents, Joshua Rymer and Tim Frazer, et.al. by counsel, Stephen V. Bomse.
Dec 4 2006Request for depublication (petition for review pending)
  Respondent, Prop.22 Legal Defense and Education Fund. by counsel, Tery L. Thompson
Dec 6 2006Received Court of Appeal record
 
Dec 11 2006Application filed to:
  file one consolidated reply to answers to petition for review. Respondents, Joshua Rymer, et. al. by counsel, Shannon Minter.
Dec 11 2006Application filed to:
  file one consolidated reply to answers Respondent, City and County of San Francisco by counsel Therese M. Stewart
Dec 13 2006Reply to answer to petition filed
  one consoldiated reply of respondents, Joshua Rymer, et. al. by counsel, Shannon Minter.
Dec 13 2006Reply to answer to petition filed
  one consolidated overlength reply of respondent, City and County of San Francisco by Therese M. Steweart, counsel
Dec 14 2006Reply to answer to petition filed
  Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund by counsel, Andrew P. Pugno.
Dec 15 2006Request for depublication (petition for review pending)
  The Equal Justice Society (non-party) by Eva Patterson
Dec 15 2006Request for depublication (petition for review pending)
  Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (non-party) by Daniel Powell.
Dec 20 2006Petition for review granted (civil case)
  The requests to appear as counsel pro hac vice, filed November 14, 2006 and December 4, 2006, are granted. The request for judicial notice, filed November 13, 2006, is granted. All six petitions for review, filed November 13 and 14, 2006, are GRANTED. Votes: George, C.J., Kennard, Baxter, Werdegar, Chin, Moreno, and Corrigan, JJ.
Jan 2 2007Request for extension of time filed
  Respondent, City and County of San Francisco: asking to March 19, 2007 to file the opening brief on the merits. by counsel, Therese M. Stewart.
Jan 3 2007Filed letter from:
  Respondent, City and County of San Francisco re: order granting review by counsel, Therese M. Stewart.
Jan 4 2007Certification of interested entities or persons filed
  Attorney Gloria Allred for respondents, Robin Tyler, et.al.
Jan 4 2007Certification of interested entities or persons filed
  Deputy Attorney General, Christophe E. Krueger, for appellant, State of California.
Jan 5 2007Received:
  FAXED letter from Alliance Defense Fund re: clarification of Court's order
Jan 5 2007Received:
  Request for extension of time to file the opening brief on the merits respondents, Rymer, et al. by counsel, Shannon Minter requsest not filed as order filed Jan. 5, 2007 has extended time to March 19, 2007, for all parties to file their opening briefs on the merits
Jan 5 2007Certification of interested entities or persons filed
  Attorney Andrew P. Pugno for respondents Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Jan 5 2007Certification of interested entities or persons filed
  Attorney Shannon Minter for respondents, National Center for Lesbian Rights filed on behalf or the respondents Joshua Rymer and Tim Frazer, et al., Intervener and Respondent Equality California, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, et al.
Jan 5 2007Extension of time granted
  On application of the City and County of San Francisco, it is ordered that the time to serve and file its opening brief on the merits is extended to and including March 19, 2007. In light of this request, the time is also extended to March 19, 2007, for other parties to file their opening briefs on the merits. No further extensions of time to file the opening briefs on the merits are contemplated. In response to the request of the City and County of San Francisco for clarification of this court's December 20, 2006, order granting review in these cases, the order should be interpreted as granting review in all of the cases and on all of the issues addressed by the Court of Appeal in its decision in this coordinated matter. Petitioners and intervenor in the cases of CCSF v. State, Woo v. State, Clinton v. State, and Tyler v. State may address in their opening briefs on the merits the issues related to whether the marriage statutes violate the California Constitution. Petitioners in the cases of Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund v. CCSF and Campaign for California Families v. Newsom may address in their opening briefs on the merits the issue of justiciability or standing addressed by the Court of Appeal.
Jan 8 2007Received:
  Original copy of letter from Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of Prop. 22 Legal Defense Fund requesting clarification of court's order. by counsel, Glen Lavy.
Jan 8 2007Received:
  Original request of Prop. 22 Legal Defense and Education fund to file their opening brief on the merits. by cousnel, Glen Lavy.
Jan 8 2007Certification of interested entities or persons filed
  Attorney Mary E. McAlister for Appellant, Campagn for Calfiornia Families.
Jan 8 2007Received:
  Faxed letter form Attorney Mary E. McAlister re: clairifcation of court's order.
Jan 10 2007Received:
  Original of faxed letter sent by Mary E. McAlister.
Jan 12 2007Order filed
  In response to the separate letters received from counsel for Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund on January 8, 2007, and from counsel for Campaign for California Families on January 10, 2007, the court clarifies that, to facilitate the orderly briefing of the issues addressed by the Court of Appeal in this matter, if either of these parties wishes to brief the issue of justiciability or standing addressed by the Court of Appeal, the party must address that issue in an opening brief on the merits. Each of these parties may file an answer brief on the merits addressing the issues related to whether the marriage statutes violate the California Constitution.
Feb 14 2007Opening brief on the merits filed
  Respondents Robin Tyler, Diane Olson, Troy Perry & Phillip De Blieck Attorneys Gloria Allred, etal
Feb 26 2007Change of contact information filed for:
  Therese M. Stewart, Office of the City Attorney.
Feb 26 2007Request for extension of time filed
  City and County of San Francisco. Asking to Aoril 2, 2007, to file the opening brief on the merits. by counsel, Therese M. Stewart.
Feb 27 2007Received:
  proof of service of amended cover on Opening/Brief Merits filed 2-14-07 Respondents Robin Tyler, etal Attorneys Gloria Allred, etal
Feb 27 2007Extension of time granted
  On application of the City and County of San Francisco, and for the reasons set forth in paragraph 10(a) of the supporting declaration, it is ordered that the time to serve and file its opening brief on the merits is extended to and including April 2, 2007. In light of this request, the time is also extended to April 2, 2007, for other parties to file their opening briefs on the merits. No further extensions of time to file the opening briefs on the merits will be granted.
Mar 7 2007Request for extension of time filed
  Appellant, State of California, et. al., to file one consolidated answer brief on the merits. Asking to June 1, 2007.
Mar 8 2007Extension of time granted
  On application of the State of California, the request for permission to file a single answer brief on the merits in response to all of the opening briefs is granted, and it is ordered that the time to file that single answer brief on the merits is extended ot and including June 1, 2007. In light of this request, the time is also extended to June 1, 2007, for other parties to file their answer briefs on the merits. No further extensions of time to file the answer briefs on the merits will be granted.
Apr 2 2007Received:
  Respondents, Joshua Rymer and Tim Frazer, et al., application to file opening brief in excess word count. by Shanon Minter, counsel
Apr 2 2007Motion filed (non-AA)
  motion to augment Joshua Rymer and Tim Frazer, et al., respondents bu Shanon Minter
Apr 2 2007Opening brief on the merits filed
  Respondents, Gregroy Clinton, et al. by counsel, Waukeen W. McCoy.
Apr 2 2007Opening brief on the merits filed
  Respondent, Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund by counsel pro hac vice, Glen Lavy.
Apr 2 2007Filed:
  Respondent, Prop. 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund's Motion to Augment Record by cousel pro hac vice, Glen Lavy.
Apr 2 2007Received:
  Respondent, City and County of San Francisco's opening brief on the merits in excess of the word count.
Apr 2 2007Filed:
  Application of Respondent, City and County of San Francisco's application to file brief in excess of the word count. by Chief Deputy City Attorney, Therese M. Stewart.
Apr 2 2007Motion filed (non-AA)
  to augment the record. Respondent, City and County of San Francisco by Chief Deputy City Attorney , Therese M. Stewart.
Apr 3 2007Opening brief on the merits filed
  Appellant, Campaign for California Families by Mary E. McAlister, counsel crc.8.25(b)
Apr 3 2007Order filed
  The application of respondents, Joshua Rymer and Tim Frazer, filed April 2, 2007, for permission to file respondents' opening brief on the merits in excess of the word limit is hereby granted.
Apr 3 2007Order filed
  The application of respondent, City and County of San Francisco, filed April 2, 2007, for permission to file respondent's opening brief on the merits in excess of the word limit is hereby granted.
Apr 3 2007Opening brief on the merits filed
  City and County of San Francisco, Respondent by Therese M. Stewart, counsel filed with permission
Apr 3 2007Opening brief on the merits filed
  Joshua Rymer and Tim Frazer, et al., respondents by Shannon Minter, counsel filed with permission
Apr 4 2007Record augmentation granted
  The three separate motions to augment the record, filed on April 2, 2007, by (1) the City and County of San Francisco, (2) counsel for specified same-sex couples (designated in motion as "Respondents"), and (3) Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund, are granted.
May 24 2007Request for extension of time filed
  Respondent, State of California et al. Sup. Dep. Attorney General, Christopher E. Krueger.
May 24 2007Extension of time granted
  In light of (1) the declaration appended to the "Second Application of the State of California" for an extension of time in which to serve and file a single answer brief on the merits and (2) the prior order of this court, filed March 8, 2007, addressing the issue of further extensions of time to file that answer brief, the time in which to serve and file the answer brief on the merits is extended to June 14, 2007. No further extensions of time to file the answer brief on the merits will be granted.
May 25 2007Received:
  Letter from counsel Glen Lavy, counsel for Respondent Proposition 22, dated May 25, 2007, asking clarification of the court's order extending time to file answer rbief on the merits.
May 25 2007Order filed
  The order of this court filed on May 24, 2007, granting the application of appellant, State of California, for extension of time is hereby amended to read in its entirety: "In light of (1) the declaration appended to the "Second Application of the State of California" for an extension of time in which to serve and file a single answer brief on the merits and (2) the prior order of this court, filed March 8, 2007, addressing the issue of further extensions of time to file that answer brief, the time in which to serve and file the answer brief on the merits is extended to June 14, 2007. The time is also extended to June 14, 2007, for other parties to serve and file their answer briefs on the merits." No further extensions of time to file the answer brief on the merits will be granted.
Jun 7 2007Application to file over-length brief filed
  Appellant, Campaign for California Families, to file Answer Brief on the Merits by counsel, Mary E. McAlister.
Jun 7 2007Answer brief on the merits filed
  Single answer brief in response to opening briefs filed with permission Appellant, Campaign for California Families by cousel, Mary E. McAlister.
Jun 11 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  The Knights of Columbus in support of defendants. by Patrick J. Gorman, counsel
Jun 14 2007Application filed to:
  file the Answer Brief on the Merits in excess of the word limit. by Christopher E. Krueger, Supervising Deputy Attorney General for the State of Calfiornia, et al.
Jun 14 2007Answer brief on the merits filed
  State of Calfiornia and the Attorney General by Supervising Attorney General, Christopher E. Krueger
Jun 14 2007Filed:
  Substitution of Counsel by Kenneth C. Mennemeier for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Jun 14 2007Answer brief on the merits filed
  Respondent, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, et al. by counsel, Kenneth C.Mennemeier.
Jun 14 2007Filed:
  Application of Respondents Joshua Rymer, et al. , to file a consolidated answer brief on the merits re: justiciability.
Jun 14 2007Answer brief on the merits filed
  Respondents, Joshua Rymer, Tim Frazer, Equality California, etc. by counsel, Vanessa H. Eisemann. consolidated answer brief on the merits filed with permission.
Jun 14 2007Filed:
  application of Respondent, City and County of San Francisco to file a consolidated answer brief on the merits.
Jun 14 2007Answer brief on the merits filed
  Respondent, City and County of San Francisco by counsel, Danny Chou. consolidated answer brief on the merits filed with permission.
Jun 14 2007Request for judicial notice filed (granted case)
  Respondent, City and County of San Francisco by counsel, Danny Chou.
Jun 15 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice (granted case)
  Paul Benjamin Linton of the State of Illinois on behalf of amicus curiae Knights of Columbus.
Jun 15 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice (granted case)
  Thomas Brejcha of the State of Illinois for amicus curiae Knights of Columbus.
Jun 15 2007Request for judicial notice filed (granted case)
  Respondent, Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund/ Alliance Defense Fund by counsel, Glen Lavy crc.8.25(b)
Jun 15 2007Answer brief on the merits filed
  Respondent, Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund, Alliance Defense Fund by counsel, Glen Lavy with permission to file combined overlength answer crc.8.25(b)
Jun 19 2007Received:
  amended proof of service from Paul Benjamon Linton re: amicus curiae brief and pro hac vice applications for Knights of Columbus.
Jun 20 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Judicial Watch in support of the State of California and the Governor by counsel, Sterling E. Norris.
Jun 20 2007Supplemental briefing ordered
  Reply briefs on the merits in these consolidated cases are due on or before July 5, 2007. In addition to any reply brief that a party may choose to file, the court requests each party to file, on or before July 18, 2007, a supplemental brief addressing the following questions: 1. What differences in legal rights or benefits and legal obligations or duties exist under current California law affecting those couples who are registered domestic partners as compared to those couples who are legally married spouses? Please list all of the current differences of which you are aware. 2. What, if any, are the minimum, constitutionally-guaranteed substantive attributes or rights that are embodied within the fundamental constitutional "right to marry" that is referred to in cases such as Perez v. Sharp (1948) 32 Cal.2d 711, 713-714? In other words, what set of substantive rights and/or obligations, if any, does a married couple possess that, because of their constitutionally protected status under the state Constitution, may not (in the absence of a compelling interest) be eliminated or abrogated by the Legislature, or by the people through the initiative process, without amending the California Constitution? 3. Do the terms "marriage" or "marry" themselves have constitutional significance under the California Constitution? Could the Legislature, consistent with the California Constitution, change the name of the legal relationship of "marriage" to some other name, assuming the legislation preserved all of the rights and obligations that are now associated with marriage? 4. Should Family Code section 308.5 - which provides that "[o]nly marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California" - be interpreted to prohibit only the recognition in California of same-sex marriages that are entered into in another state or country or does the provision also apply to and prohibit same-sex marriages entered into within California? Under the Full Faith and Credit Clause and the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the federal Constitution (U.S. Const., art. IV, ?? 1, 2, cl.1), could California recognize same- sex marriages that are entered into within California but deny such recognition to same-sex marriages that are entered into in another state? Do these federal constitutional provisions affect how Family Code section 308.5 should be interpreted? The court notes that its request that the parties brief these matters does not necessarily signify that the court will address these points in its opinion. As indicated above, the supplemental briefs addressing these issues are to be served and filed simultaneously by the parties on or before July 18, 2007. The parties may serve and file simultaneous supplemental reply briefs, addressed solely to these questions, on or before August 1, 2007. Because of the nature and number of the questions to be addressed, the limitation on the permissible length of supplemental briefs set forth in California Rules of Court, rule 8.520(d)(2), do not apply to the requested supplemental briefs.
Jun 20 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of Judicial Watch, Inc. for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of the State of California and governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consloldiated answer to all amicus curiae briefs within twenty days after the last date than an application to file an amicus curiae brief my be filed under rule 8.520(f)(2).
Jun 20 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Judicial Watch, Inc. in support of the Sate of California and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. by cousel, Sterling E. Norris.
Jun 20 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of the Knights of Columbus for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of the State of California is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs within twenty days after the last date that an application to file an amicus curiae brief may be filed under rule 8.520(f)(2).
Jun 20 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice granted
  The application of Paul Benjamin Linton of the State of Illinois for admission pro hac vice to appear on behalf of amicus curiae, Knights of Columbus, is hereby granted. (See Cal. Rules of Court, rule 9.40).
Jun 20 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice granted
  The application of Thomas Brejcha of the State of Illinois for admission pro hac vice to appear on behalf of amicus curiae, Knights of Columbus, is hereby granted. (See Cal. Rules of Court, rule 9.40).
Jun 20 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Knights of Columbus in support of the State of California by counsel, Patrick J. Gorman, Paul Benjamin Linton (pro hac vice) and Thomas Brejcha (pro hac vice).
Jun 21 2007Request for extension of time filed
  City and County of San Francisco. Asking to September 3, 2007 to file: the Reply Brief on the Merits. and to Sept. 3, 207 to file the Supplemental Brief. by Chief Deputy City Attorney, Therese M. Stewart.
Jun 22 2007Extension of time granted
  On application of The City and County of San Francisco and good cause appearing, it is ordered that the time to serve and file the reply brief on the merits and supplemental brief is hereby extended to and including August 3, 2007. The due date to file the supplemental reply brief is hereby extended to and including August 17, 2007. The time is also extended for all parties to file the reply briefs and supplemental briefs and supplemental reply briefs. No further extensions of time are contemplated.
Jul 2 2007Note: Mail returned and re-sent
  to 246 W. Shaw Ave. for Patrick John Gorman, for Amicus Curiae, Knights of Columbus.
Jul 6 2007Filed:
  Errata to Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund's Answer to Petitioners' Opening Brief on the substantive issues. by counsel, Glen Lavy.
Jul 19 2007Request for extension of time filed
  Respondents Joshua Rymer and Tim Frazer, et. al. asking to August 17, 2007 to file the reply brief and supplemental briefs. by counsel, Vanessa H. Eisenmann.
Jul 20 2007Extension of time granted
  On application of Joshua Rymer and Tim Frazer, et al., and good cause appearing, it is ordered that the time to serve and file the reply brief on the merits and supplemental brief is hereby extended to and including August 17, 2007. Time is extended for all parties to file the reply briefs, supplemental briefs, and supplemental reply briefs. No further extension will be granted.
Jul 20 2007Note:
 
Jul 23 2007Request for judicial notice filed (granted case)
  Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund By counsel, Glen Lavy ( amitted Pro Hac Vice ).
Aug 17 2007Supplemental brief filed
  Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and State Registrar of Vital Statistics by counsell, Kenneth C. Mennemeier.
Aug 17 2007Supplemental brief filed
  Respondent, City and County of San Francisco by Chief Deputy City Attorney, Therese M. Stewart.
Aug 17 2007Request for judicial notice filed (granted case)
  Respondent, City and County of San Francisco ( Supplemental request). By Chief Deputy City Attorney, Therese M. Stewart.
Aug 17 2007Application to file over-length brief filed
  City and County of San Francisco to file the consolidated Reply Biref. by Chief Deputy City Attorney, Therese M. Stewart.
Aug 17 2007Received:
  City and County of San Francisco's Reply Brief in excess of the word limit by Chief Deputy City Attorney, Therese M. Stewart.
Aug 17 2007Supplemental brief filed
  State of California and Attorney General Edmund G. Brown, Jr. by Senior Assistant Attorney General, Christopher E. Krueger.
Aug 17 2007Received:
  Oversized Reply Brief on the Merits Gregory Clintyon, et al. by counsel, Waukeen Q. McCoy.
Aug 17 2007Supplemental brief filed
  Gregory Clinton, et al. by counsel, Waukeen Q. McCoy.
Aug 17 2007Reply brief filed (case not yet fully briefed)
  Respondents Robin Tyler, etal Attorney Gloria Allred, etal
Aug 17 2007Received:
  Oversized reply brief on the merits Joshua Rymer and Tim Frazer et al., by Shannon Minter, counsel
Aug 17 2007Application to file over-length brief filed
  Josha Rymer and Tim Frazer et al.,
Aug 17 2007Reply brief filed (case not yet fully briefed)
  Filed with permission Joshua Rymer & Tim Frazer, et al. by counsel, Shannon Minter.
Aug 17 2007Supplemental brief filed
  Joshua Rymer and Tim Frazer, et al., by Shannon Minter, counsel
Aug 17 2007Request for judicial notice filed (granted case)
  Joshua Rymer and Tim Frazer et al., by Shannon Minter, counsel
Aug 17 2007Received:
  Oversized reply brief on the merits Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund et al, by Glen Lave, counsel
Aug 17 2007Application to file over-length brief filed
  Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund
Aug 17 2007Reply brief filed (case not yet fully briefed)
  Filed with permission Prop. 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund by counsel, Glen Lavy.
Aug 17 2007Supplemental brief filed
  Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund et al., by Glen Lavy, counsel
Aug 17 2007Received:
  Oversized reply brief on the merits Campaign for California Familes on Justiciability by Mathew D. Staver, counsel
Aug 17 2007Application to file over-length brief filed
  Campaign for California Families on Justiciability by Mathew D. Staver, counsel
Aug 17 2007Reply brief filed (case not yet fully briefed)
  Campaign for California Families on Justiciability by Mathew D. Staver, counsel Filed with permission
Aug 17 2007Supplemental brief filed
  Campaign for California Families on Justiciability by Mathew D. Staver, counsel
Aug 23 2007Reply brief filed (case not yet fully briefed)
  City and County of San Francisco's consolidted reply brief filed with permission. by Chief Deputy City Attorney, Therese M. Stewart.
Aug 23 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  The Southern Poverty Law Center [in support of respondents] Attorneys Scott Wm. Davenport, etal
Aug 24 2007Application to file over-length brief filed
  Reply Brief on the mertits of Gregory Clinton, et al. by counsel, Waukeen Q. McCoy.
Aug 27 2007Reply brief filed (case fully briefed)
  with permission Gregory Clinton, et al. by counsel, Waukeen Q. McCoy.
Aug 29 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of the Southern Poverty Law Center for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondents is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs within twenty days after the last date that an application to file an amicus curiae brief may be filed under rule 8.520(f)(2).
Aug 29 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  The Southern Poverty Law Center by counsel, Scott Wm. Davenport.
Aug 31 2007Application filed to:
  request filing of a consolidated reply of Prop. 22 Legal Defense And Education Fund to supplemental briefs. by counsel, Terry L. Thompson and Glen Lavy
Aug 31 2007Application filed to:
  request filing of a combined overlength reply of Campaign for California Families to supplemental briefs. by counsel, Mary E. McAlister.
Aug 31 2007Application filed to:
  request filing of a consoldiated reply of City and County of San Francisco to supplemental briefs. by Chief Deputy City Attorney, Therese M. Stewart.
Aug 31 2007Application filed to:
  request filing of a consolidated reply of responedents Joshua Rymer and Tim Frazer, et al, to supplemental briefs. by counsel, Shannon Minter.
Aug 31 2007Supplemental brief filed
  Supplemental Reply Brief of Prop. 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund. with permission by counsel, Glen Lavy.
Aug 31 2007Supplemental brief filed
  Supplemental Reply Brief of Campaign for California Families. with permission by counsel, Mary E. McAlister.
Aug 31 2007Supplemental brief filed
  Supplemental Reply Brief of City and County of San Francisco. with permission. by Chief Deputy City Attorney, Therese M. Stewart.
Aug 31 2007Supplemental brief filed
  Supplemental Reply Brief of Respondents, Joshua Rymner and Tim Frazer, et al. with permission. by counsel, Shannon Minter.
Aug 31 2007Supplemental brief filed
  Supplemental Reply Brief of the State of California and the Attorney General. by Senior Asistant Attorney General, Christopher E. Krueger.
Sep 6 2007Received:
  letter form Respondents, Joshua Rymer, et al. re: Iowa Dictrict Court 's opinion. by counsel, Vaness H. Eisemann of NCLR.
Sep 12 2007Received:
  letter from respondent, City and County of San Francisco re: Sixth Circuit opinion. by Chief of Appellate Litigation, Danny Chou.
Sep 13 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Bar Association of San Francisco in support of City and County of San Francisco by counsel, Amitai Schwartz.
Sep 14 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Council for Secular Humanism and The Center for Inquiry Attorney Edward Tabash
Sep 14 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  The application of THE BAR ASSOCIATION OF SAN FRANCISCO for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondent, City and County of San Francisco, is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs within twenty days after the last date that an application to file an amicus curiae brief may be filed under rule 8.520(f)(2).
Sep 20 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Professors of Family Law in support of respondents, City and County fo San Francisco et al., by Michael S. Wald, counsel
Sep 20 2007Filed:
  Notice of Recent Decision: Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund, advise the court of an opinion filed September 18, 2007, by the Court of Appeals in Maryland in the case Conaway, et al vs Dean, et al. by Glen Lavy, counsel for Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund
Sep 21 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  National Legal Foundation in support of appellants. by Brian Chavez-Ochoa, counsel
Sep 21 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in support of appellants. by Derek L. Gaubatz and Roger Severino, Counsel
Sep 21 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice filed
  Roger T. Severino as counsel for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
Sep 24 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Amnerican Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Northern California Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and the California District of the American Academy of Pediatrics in support of respondent by Diana E. Richmond, counsel
Sep 24 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice (granted case)
  Jay Alan Sekulow for amicus curiae American Center for Law & Justice
Sep 24 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice (granted case)
  Stuart J. Roth for amicus curiae American Center for Law & Justice.
Sep 24 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice (granted case)
  Laura B. Hernandez for amicus curiae American Center for Law & Justice.
Sep 24 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice (granted case)
  Vincent P.McCarthy for amicus curiae American Center for Law & Justice.
Sep 24 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  American Center for Law & Justice in support of Respondent (Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund). by John D. Hardy, counsel
Sep 24 2007Received:
  Campaign for California Families' Notice, respondents Notice of supplemental authority by Mary E. Mcalister, counsel
Sep 25 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Anti-Defamation League, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center, San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community , San Francisco LGBT Community Center, Billy Defrank Center, The Gay and Lesbian Center of Greater Long Beach, Desert Pride Center, Lighthouse Community Pride Center, The Pacific Center, and Stanislaus Pride Center in support of respondents by Clifford S. Davidson, Counsel
Sep 25 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  The City of Los Angeles, City of San Diego, City of San Jose, City of Long Beach, City of Oakland, City of Santa Rosa, City of Berkeley, City of Santa Monica, City of Santa Cruz, City of Palm Springs, City of West Hollywood, City of Signal Hill, City of Sebastopol, Town of Fairfax, City of Cloverdale, County of Santa Clara, County of San Mateo, County of Santa Cruz, and County of Marin in Support of respondents. by J. Stephen Lewis, Counsel
Sep 25 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  City of Los Angeles, etal [in support of respondent City & County of San Francisco] J. Stephen Lewis and Michael Jenkins, Legal Srvs Div of City of West Hollywood
Sep 25 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Douglas W. Kmiec, Helen M. Alvare, George W. Dent, JR., Stephen G. Calabresi, Steven B. Presser and Lynn D. Wardle in support of appellant. by Natalie A. Panossian, counsel
Sep 25 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  California State Copnference of the National Associaton for the Advancement of Colored People (Calfiornia NAACP) in support of respondent by Jon B. Eisenberg
Sep 25 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  African-American Pastors in California in support of respondents. by Robert A. Destro, counsel
Sep 25 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  John Coverdale, Scott Fitzgibbon, Martin R. Gardner, Kris W. Kobach, Earl M. Maltz, Laurence C. Nolan, and John Randall Trahan, Professors of Law in support of appellants by Jeffrey N. Daly, counsel
Sep 26 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Equal Justice Society in support of respondent. by Eva Patterson, counsel
Sep 26 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Pacific Justice Institute and Capitol Resource Institute Attorneys Matthew B. McReynolds & Kevin T. Snider
Sep 26 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  The American Psychoanalytic Association, The American Anthropological Association, and The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, in support of respondents by Sonya D. Winner, Counsel
Sep 26 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, General Synod of the United Church of Christ, The Union for Reform Judiasm, Soka Gakkai International-USA, The Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, The California Council of Church, and California Faith for Equality, et al., in Support of appellants by Raoul D. Kennedy, Counsel.
Sep 26 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Professors of International Law and The University of Toronto, Faculty of Law International Human Rights Clinic, in support of respondents by Paul S. Marchegiani, Counsel.
Sep 26 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice (granted case)
  Tobias Barrington Wolff for Equal Justice Society
Sep 26 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  The American Psychological Association;California Psychological Association; American Psychiatric Association; National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter in support of appellants by Anjan Choudhury, Counsel
Sep 26 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Professor Jesse H. Choper in support of Respondents. by counsel, Jon B. Streeter.
Sep 26 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Joseph R. Grodin in support of respondents. Joseph R. Grodin, Esq., in pro se.
Sep 26 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Foundation in support of respondents. by counsel, Michael S. Brophy.
Sep 26 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice filed
  Suzanne B. Goldberg for Amicus Curiae National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Foundation.
Sep 26 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Santa Clara County Bar Association in support of respondents. by counsel, Christine Peek.
Sep 26 2007Received:
  requset for judicial notice :Amicus Curiae, Professors of International Law, et al., in support of respondents by counsel, Paul S. Marchegiani. with attached exhibits A-M
Sep 26 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice (granted case)
  Paul M. Smith and William M. Hohengarten on behalf of amicus curiae, the American Psychological Assoc.
Sep 26 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice (granted case)
  Nathalie F.P. Gilfoyle on behalf of amicus curiae the American Psychological Association.
Sep 26 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  James Q. Wilson, et al., Legal and Family Scholars in support of appellants. by counsel, Joshua K. Baker.
Sep 26 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Asian American Bar Associatin of the Greater Bay Area in support of respondents by counsel, Kevin M. Fong.
Sep 26 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Legislators in support of respondents. ( Senators Alquist, et al.) by counsel, Kari Krogseng
Sep 26 2007Received:
  Request for judicial notice : Amicus Curiae- Legislators- one vol. by counsel, Kari Krogseng.
Sep 26 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Equality Federation and Gay and Lesbian Advocates & Defenders in support of respondents by James V. Weixel, Jr., counsel
Sep 26 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Aguilas, Bienstar Human Services, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, La Raza Centrol Legal, National Black Justice Coalition, National Lawyers Guild of San Francisco, Zuna Institute in support of respondents by Peter Obstler, counsel
Sep 26 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  CEROM - (California Ethnic Religious Organizations for Marriage) in support of appellants. by Dean R. Broyels, counsel
Sep 26 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Leland Traiman and Stewart Blandon in support of appellant by Janice R. Mazur, counsel
Sep 26 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere, The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Family Pride, Freedom to Marry, Human Rights Campagin, Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Marriage Equality USA, The National Lesbian and Gay Law Association, Parents Family and Freinds of Lesbians and Gays, Inc., People for the American Way Foundation, Pride At Work, SacLegal, Tom Homann Law Association in support of respondents by Daniel J. Powell, counsel
Sep 26 2007Received:
  Supplement to Amicus Curiae Application & Brief City of Los Angeles, etal re: addition of City of Cotati J. Stephen Lewis and Michael Jenkins, Legal Srvc Div of City of West Hollywood
Sep 26 2007Received:
  Supplement to Amicus Curiae Application & Brief Anti-Defamation League, etal re: addition of Gay & Lesbian Community Services Center of Orange County Attorneys Clifford S. Davidson, etal
Sep 26 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  United Families International, Family Watch International, and Family Leader Foundation in support of appellant. by Monte N. Stewart, counsel
Sep 27 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in support of Respondents. by counsel, Walter Rieman
Sep 27 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice (granted case)
  Roberta A. Kaplan of NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
Sep 27 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice (granted case)
  Andrew J. Ehrlich of NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
Sep 27 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice (granted case)
  Victor A. Bolden of NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
Sep 27 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Out & Equal Workplace Advocates and Levi Strauss Co. in support of respondents by counsel, Jeffrey F. Webb.
Sep 27 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Beverly Hills Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Assoc., San Francisco Trial Lawyers Assoc., California Women Lawyers, and Women Lawyers Assoc. of Los Angeles in suppport of respondents. by counsel, Irving Greines and Cynthia E. Tobisman.
Sep 27 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Howard University School of Law Civil Rights Clinic by counsel, Barbara J. Chisholm.
Sep 27 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Professors of Constitutional Law in support of respondents by counsel, Kathleen M. Sullivan.
Sep 27 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality ( JONAH), et al., in support of Prop. 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund. By counsel, John Stewart.
Sep 27 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  California Women's Law Center in support of respondents. by cousel, Elizabeth L. Rosenblatt.
Sep 27 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  M.V. Lee Badgett and Gary J. Gates in support of the City and County of San Francisco. by cousel, Clifford J. Rosky.
Sep 27 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  William N. Eskridge, Jr., in support of respondents. by Linda M. Burrow, counsel
Sep 27 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Calfornia Catholic Conference, - CRC 8.25(b) National Association of Evangelicals, and Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, in support of respondents by Kenneth W. Starr, Counsel.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of Howard University School of Law Civil Rights Clinic for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondents is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae brief on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Howard University School of Law Civil Rights Clinic in support of respondents. Answer is due on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of M.V. Lee Badgett and Gary J. Gates for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of the City and County of San Francisco is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curaie briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  M.V. Lee Badgett and Gary J. Gates in support of the City and County of San Francisco. Answer due on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of William N. Eskridge JR., for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondents is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated amswer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  William N. Eskridge, Jr., in support of respondents. Answer is due on or beofre October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of Santa Clara County Bar Association for permission to file an amicus curaie brief in support of respondents is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Santa Clara County Bar Association in support of respondents. Answers are due on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, California Catholic Conference, National Association of Evangelicals, adn Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America in support of the State of California. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, California Catholic Conference, National Association of Evangelicals and Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America in support of the State of California. Answers are due on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of Douglas W. Kmiec, Helen M. Alvare, George W. Dent, JR., Stephen G. Calabresi, Steven B. Presser, and Lynn D. Wardle, Professors of Law, for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of the State of California is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Douglas W. Kmiec, Helen M. Alvare, George W. Dent, JR., Stephen G. Calabresi, Steven B. Presser, and Lynn D. Wardle, Professors of Law in support of the State of California. by Natalie A. Panossian, Counsel Answers are due on before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of Beverly Hills Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, California Women Lawyers, and Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondents is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Beverly Hills Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, California Women Lawyers, and Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles in support of respondents. By Irving Greines and Cynthia E. Tobisman, counsel Answers are due on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of Jews Offering New alternatives to Homosexuality (Jonah), Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX), and Evergreen International for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidtaed answer to all amicus curaie briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Jews Offering New alternatives to Homosexuality (Jonah), Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX), and Evergreen International in support of Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund. by John Stewart, counsel Answers are due on before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of California Women's Law Center, Equal Rights Advocates, and Legal Momentum for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondents is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  California Women's Law Center, Equal Rights Advocates, and Legal Momentum in support of respondents. by Elizabeth L. Rosenblatt, counsel Answers are due on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of Professors of Constitutional Law, Pamela S. Karlan, Paul Brest, Alan E. Brownstein, William Cohen, David B. Cruz, Mary L. Dudziak, Susan R. Estrich, David Faigman, Phillip B. Fricey, Ronald R. Garet, Kenneth L. Karst, Goodwin Liu, Lawrence C. Marshall, Radiha Rao, Kathleen M. Sullivan. Jonathan D. Varat and Adam Winkler for permission to file an amicus curiae brief is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Professors of Constitutional Law, Pamela S. Karlan, Paul Brest, Alan E. Brownstein, William Cohen, David B. Cruz, Mary L. Dudziak, Susan R. Estrich, David Faigman, Phillip B. Fricey, Ronald R. Garet, Kenneth L. Karst, Goodwin Liu, Lawrence C. Marshall, Radiha Rao, Kathleen M. Sullivan. Jonathan D. Varat and Adam Winkler in support of respondents by Kathleen M. Sullivan, counsel Answers are due on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  The Becket Funds for Religious Liberty. By Derek L. Gaubatz, counsel
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of PROFESSORS OF FAMILY LAW for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of the City and County of San Francisco, et al., is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Professors of Family Law. by counsel, Michael S. Wald.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of NATIONAL LEGAL FOUNDATION for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of appellants is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  National Legal Foundation by counsel, Brian Chavez-Ochoa.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of THE BECKET FUND FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of appellants is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice granted
  The application of Roger T. Severino of the District of Columbia for admission to appear as counsel pro hac vice on behalf of appellants is hereby granted. (See Cal. rules of Court, rule 9.40.)
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of AMERICAN ACADEMY OF MATRIMONIAL LAWYERS, NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CHAPTER OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF MATRIMONIAL LAWYERS and the CALIFORNIA DISTRICT OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondents is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, et al. by counsel, Diana E. Richmond.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of THE AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW & JUSTICE for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondent, Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund, is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  The American Center for Law & Justice. by counsel, John D. Hardy.
Oct 4 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice granted
  The application of Jay Alan Sekulow of the District of Columbia for admission to appear as counsel pro hac vice on behalf o fProposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund is hereby granted. ( See Cal. Rules of Court, rule 9.40.)
Oct 4 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice granted
  The application of Stuart J. Roth of the District of Columbia for admission to appear as counsel pro hac vice on behalf of Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund is hereby granted.(See Cal. Rules of Court, rule 9.40.)
Oct 4 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice granted
  The application of Laura B. Hernandez of the state of Virginia for admission to appear as counsel pro hac vice on behalf of Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund is hereby granted. ( See Cal Rules of Court, rule 9.40.)
Oct 4 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice granted
  The application of Vincent P. McCarthy of the State of Connecticut for admission to appear as counsel pro hac vice on behalf of Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund is hereby granted. See Cal. rules of Court, rule 9.40.)
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE, LOS ANGELES GAY and LESBIAN CENTER, SACRAMENTO GAY and LESBIAN CENTER, SAN DIEGO LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL and TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO LGBT COMMUNITY CENTER, BILLY DEFRANK CENTER, THE GAY and LESBIAN CENTER of GREATER LONG BEACH, DESERT PRIDE CENTER, LIGHTHOUSE COMMUNITY PRIDE CENTER, THE PACIFIC CENTER, and STANISLAUS PRIDE CENTER for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondents. is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Anti-Defamation League,et al. by counsel,Clifford S. Davidson.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of CITY OF LOS ANGELES, CITY OF SAN DIEGO, CITY OF SAN JOSE,CITY OF LONG BEACH, CITY OF OAKLAND, CITY OF SANTA ROSA, CITY OF BERKELEY, CITY OF SANTA MONICA,CITY OF SANTA CRUZ,CITY OF PALM SPRINGS, CITY OF WEST HOLLYWOOD,CITY OF SIGNAL HILL,CITY OF SEBASTOPOL, TOWN OF FAIRFAX, CITY OF CLOVERDALE, COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA,COUNTY OF SAN MATEO,COUNTY OF SANTA CRUZ, and COUNTY OF MARIN for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of the City and County of San Francisco is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  City of Los Angeles, et al. by counsel, J. Stephen Lewis.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of CALIFORNIA STATE CONFERENCE OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATON FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE ( CALIFORNIA NAACP) for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondents is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  California State Conference of the National Assoc. for the Advancement of Colored People. ( California NAACP. by counsel, Jon B. Eisenberg.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of AFRICAN-AMERICAN PASTORS IN CALIFORNIA for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondents is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  African-American Pastors in California. by counsel, Robert A. Destro.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of JOHN COVERDALE, SCOTT FITZGIBBON, MARTIN R. GARDNER, KRIS W. KOBACH, EARL M. MALTZ, LAURENCE C. NOLAN, and JOHN RANDALL TRAHAN, PROFESSORS OF LAW for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of appellants is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  John Coverdale, et al. by counsel, Jeffrey N. Daly.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of EQUAL JUSTICE SOCIETY for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondents is hereby granted. Any party file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Equal Justice Society. by cousel, Eva Paterson
Oct 4 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice granted
  The application of Tobias Barrington Wolff of the State of New York for admission to appear as counsel pro hac vice on behalf of respondents is hereby granted. (See Cal. Rules of Court, rule9.40.)
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of PACIFIC JUSTICE INSTITUTE and CAPITOL RESOURCE INSTITUTE for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of Campaign for California Families and the Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Pacific Justice Institute and Capitol Resource Institute. by counsel, Matthew B. McReynolds.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of the American Psychoanalytic Association, the American Anthropological association, and the Lawyers' Committe for Civil rights of the San Francisco Bay Area for permission to file an amicus curiae biref in support of the City and County of San Francisco is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae birefs on or befoe October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  American Psychoanalytic Association, et al. by counsel, Sonya D. Winner.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of the UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST ASSOCIATION OF CONGREGATIONS, GENERAL SYNOD OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, THE UNION FOR REFORM JUDAISM, SOKA GAKKAI INTERNATIONAL-USA, THE UNIVERSAL FELLOWSHIP OF METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CHURCHES, THE CALIFORNIA COUNCIL OF CHURCHES, and CALIFORNIA FAITH FOR EQUALITY, et al., for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondents is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, et al. by counsel, Raoul D. Kennedy.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of PROFESSORS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, FACULTY OF LAW INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS CLINIC for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondents is hereby granted. An party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Professors of International Law, et al. by counsel, Paul S. Marchegiani.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of the AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, CALIFORNIA PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORKERS, and NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORKERS, CALIFORNIA CHAPTER, for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondents is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  American Psychological Association, et al. by counsel, Anjan Choudhury.
Oct 4 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice granted
  The application of Nathalie F. P. Gilfoyle of the District of Columbia for admission to appear as counsel pro hac vice on behalf of respondents is hereby granted. (See Cal.Rules of Court, rule 9.40.)
Oct 4 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice granted
  The application of William M. Hohengarten of the District of Columbia for admission to appear as counsel pro hac vice on hehalf of respondents is hereby granted. (See Cal.Rules of Court, rule 9.40.)
Oct 4 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice granted
  The application of Paul M. Smith of the District of Columbia for admission to appear as counsel pro hac vice on behalf of respondents is hereby granted. (See Cal. Rules of Court, rule 9.40.)
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The applicatin of Jesse H. Choper for permission to file an amicus curiae biref in support of respondents is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Jesse H. Choper by counsel, Jon B. Streeter.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of JOSEPH R. GRODIN for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of the City and County of San Francisco is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Joseph R. Grodin, Esq., in pro se.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of THE NATIONAL GAY & LESBIAN TASK FORCE FOUNDATION for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondents is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Foundation. by counsel, Michael S. Brophy.
Oct 4 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice granted
  The application of Suzanne B. Goldberg of the State of New York for admission to appear as counsel pro hac vice on behalf of respondents is hereby granted. (See Cal. Rules of Court, rule 9.40.)
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of JAMES Q. WILSON, et al., LEGAL AND FAMILY SCHOLARS for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of appellants is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  James Q. Wilson, et al. by counsel, Joshua K. Baker.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of COUNCIL FOR SECULAR HUMANISM and the CENTER FOR INQUIRY for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of the City and County of San Francisco is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Council for Secular Humanism, et al. by counsel, Edward Tabash.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of ASIAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF THE GREATER BAY AREA AND 62 ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN ORGANIZATIONS for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondents is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, et al. by counsel, Kevin M. Fong.
Oct 4 2007Request for judicial notice filed (granted case)
  Amicus Curiae, Professors of International Law, et al., in suppport of respondents, with attached exhibits A-M. by counsel, Paul S. Marchegiani.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of Legislators ELAINE ALQUIST, ELLEN CORBETT, CHRISTINE KEHOE, SHEILA KUEHL CAROLE MIGDEN,DARRELL STEINBERG, NOREEN EVANS, LONI HANCOCK, JARED W. HUFFMAN, DAVE JONES, JOHN LAIRD, MARK LENO, SALLY J. LIEBER, FIONA MA, ANTHONY J. PORTANTINO, and LORI SALDANA for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondents is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  LEGISLATORS, et al. by counsel, Kari Krogseng.
Oct 4 2007Request for judicial notice filed (granted case)
  Amicus Curiae- Legislators- one vol. A-K. by counsel, Kari Krogseng.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of EQUALITY FEDERATION and GAY AND LESBIAN ADVOCATES & DEFENDERS for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondents is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Equality Federation and Gay and Lesbian Advocates & Defenders. by counsel, James V. Weixel.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of MEXICAN AMERICAN LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATIONAL FUND, AGUILAS, BIENESTAR HUMAN SERVICES, COALITION FOR HUMANE IMMIGRANT RIGHTS, LA RAZA CENTRO LEGAL, NATIONAL BLACK JUSTICE COALITION, NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD OF SAN FRANCISCO, and ZUNA INSTITUTE for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondents is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Mexican Americal Legal Defense and Educational Fund, et al. by counsel, Peter Obstler.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of CALIFORNIA ETHNIC RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS FOR MARRIAGE ( CEROM ) for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of appellants is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  CEROM - California Ethnic Religious Organizations for Marriage. by cousnel, Dean R. Broyles.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of LELAND TRAIMAN and STEWART BLANDON for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of the State of California and the Attorney General is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Leland Traiman and Stewart Blandon by counsel, Janice R. Mazur.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of BAY AREA LAWYERS FOR INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM, CHILDREN OF LESBIANS AND GAYS EVERYWHERE, THE DISABILITY RIGHTS EDUCATION AND DEFENSE FUND, FAMILY PRIDE, FREEDOM TO MARRY, HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN, HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN FOUNDATION, LEGAL AID SOCIETY-EMPLOYMENT LAW CENTER, LESBIAN AND GAY LAWYERS ASSOCIATION OF LOS ANGELES, MARRIAGE EQUALITY, USA. THE NATIONAL LESBIAN AND GAY LAW ASSOCIATION, PARENTS, FAMILIES & FRIENDS OF LESBIANS AND GAYS, INC., PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY FOUNDATION, PRIDE AT WORK, SACLEGAL, and TOM HOMANN LAW ASOCIATION for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondents is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Bay Area Lawyers For Individual Freedom, et al. by counsel, Daniel J. Powell.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of United Families International, Family Watch International, and Family Leader Foundation for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of the State of California is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  United Familes International, et al. by counsel, Monte N. Stewart.
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATIONAL FUND INC. for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondents is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. by counsel, Walter Rieman.
Oct 4 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice granted
  The application of Victor A. Bolden of the State of New York for admission to appear as counsel pro hac vice on behalf of respondents is hereby granted. (See Cal. Rules of Court, rule9.40.)
Oct 4 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice granted
  The application of Andrew J. Ehrlich of the State of New York for admission to appear as counsel pro hac vice on behalf of respondents is hereby granted. (SeeCal. Rules of Court, rule 9.40.)
Oct 4 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice granted
  The application of Roberta A. Kaplan of the State of New York for admission to appear as counsel pro hac vice on behalf of respondents is hereby granted. ( See Cal. Rules of Court, rule 9.40.)
Oct 4 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of OUT & EQUAL WORKPLACE ADVOCATES and LEVI STRAUSS & CO. for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondents is hereby granted. Any party may file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs on or before October 29, 2007.
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Out & Equal Workplace Advocates and Levi Strauss & Co. by counsel, Jeffrey F. Webb.
Oct 22 2007Opposition filed
  by Prop. 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund to Amicus Curiae, Legislators, request for judicial notice. by counsel pro hac vice, Glen Lavy.
Oct 24 2007Request for extension of time filed
  City and County of San Francisco is asking to Nov. 12, 2007 to file the consolidated answer to amicus curiae briefs. by counsel, Therese M. Stewart.
Oct 25 2007Extension of time granted
  On application of the City and County of San Francisco and good cause appearing, it is ordered that the time to serve and file a single consolidated answer to all amicus curiae briefs is extended to and including November 13, 2007. This extension of time applies to all parties. No further extensions of time are contemplated.
Nov 8 2007Received:
  Application of the City of Davis to file the untimely joinder to the Amicus Curiae brief filed by the City of Los Angeles, et al. by counsel, Harriet A. Steiner.
Nov 8 2007Order filed
  The application of the City of Davis to join in the Amicus Curiae Brief filed by the City of Los Angeles, et al., is hereby granted.
Nov 8 2007Filed:
  Joinder of the City of Davis to the Amicus Curiae brief filed by the City of Los Angeles, et al. by counsel, Harriet A.Steiner.
Nov 9 2007Received:
  Application of the City of Sacramento to file the untimely joinder to the Amicus Curiae brief filed by the City of Los Angeles, et al. by counsel Matthew D. Ruyak
Nov 13 2007Filed:
  Respondents', Joshua Rymer, et al., application to file joint consolidated answer to amicus curiae briefs in excess of the word limit. by consel, Vanessa H. Eisemann.
Nov 13 2007Request for judicial notice filed (granted case)
  Respondents, Joshua Rymer, et al., request for judicial notice is support of response to amicus curiae briefs. by counsel, Vanessa H. Eisemann.
Nov 13 2007Response to amicus curiae brief filed
  Appellant, Campagin for California Families' consolidated brief in by counsel, Mary E. McAlister
Nov 13 2007Response to amicus curiae brief filed
  Respondent, City and County of San Francisco consolidated answer to amicus curiae brief. by counsel, Therese M. Stewart
Nov 13 2007Order filed
  The application of the City of Sacramento to join the Amicus Curiae Brief filed by the City of Los Angeles, et al., is hereby granted.
Nov 13 2007Filed:
  The application of the City of Sacramento to join in the Amicus Curiae Brief filed by the City of Los Angeles, et al., is hereby granted. by counsel, Matthew D. Ruyak, counsel
Nov 14 2007Response to amicus curiae brief filed
  Single consolidated response of Respondents, Joshua Rymer, et al. Filed with permission by counsel, Vanessa H. Eisemann.
Nov 14 2007Received:
  Original notice of errata as to exhibit one of respondents' Joshua Rymer, et al., request for judicial notice.
Nov 29 2007Filed:
  application of San Francisco Chamber of Commerce to file late application to join in the Amicus Curiae brief filed by Equal Workplace Advocates, et al. by counsel James A. Lazarus.
Nov 30 2007Filed:
  The joinder of San Francisco Chamber of Commerce to join in the Amicus Curiae brief filed by Equal Workplace Advocates, et al. by counsel James A. Lazarus.
Nov 30 2007Order filed
  The application of San Francisco Chamber of Commerce for permission to join filed amicus curiae brief by Equal Workplace Advocates et al., in support of The City and County of San Francisco is hereby granted.
Jan 10 2008Filed:
  additional authority of appellant, State of California by Deputy Attorney General, Christopher E. Krueger
Feb 1 2008Request for Extended Media coverage Filed
  by The California Channel by John Hancock, counsel
Feb 6 2008Case ordered on calendar
  to be argued Tuesday, March 4, 2008, at 9:00 a.m., in San Francisco
Feb 6 2008Order filed
  The court will allocate three hours to oral argument in this proceeding. For purposes of oral argument, the City and County of San Francisco and the other parties challenging the constitutionality of California's current marriage statutes will be deemed petitioners, and the State of California and the other parties supporting the constitutionality of the marriage statutes will be deemed respondents. Counsel for City and County of San Francisco will be allocated a total of 35 minutes for oral argument. Counsel for petitioner Rymer et al. will be allocated a total of 35 minutes for oral argument. Counsel for petitioner Tyler et al. will be allocated a total of 10 minutes for oral argument. Counsel for petitioner Clinton et al. will be allocated a total of 10 minutes for oral argument. Counsel for the State of California will be allocated 45 minutes for oral argument. Counsel for the Governor et al. will be allocated 15 minutes for oral argument. Counsel for Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund will be allocated 15 minutes for oral argument. Counsel for Campaign for California Families will be allocated 15 minutes for oral argument. A request by a party or an amicus curiae to use a portion or all of another party's time must be made pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 8.524.
Feb 6 2008Request for judicial notice granted
  The following requests for judicial notice are granted: 1. Request by the City & County of San Francisco, filed on June 14, 2007. 2. Request by the Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund, filed on June 15, 2007. 3. Request by the Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund, filed on July 23, 2007. 4. Request by petitoners Rymer et al., filed on August 17, 2007. 5. Request by City & County of San Francisco, filed on August 17, 2007. 6. Request by amici curiae California legislators, filed on October 4, 2007. 7. Request by amici curiae professors of international law, filed on October 3, 2007. 8. Request by petitioners Del Martin et al., filed on November 13, 2007.
Feb 6 2008Letter sent to:
  counsel regarding Focus Issues to be heard during Oral Argument.
Feb 6 2008Request for Extended Media coverage Granted
  The request for extended media coverage, filed by The California Channel on February 1, 2008, is granted, subject to the conditions set forth in rule 1.150, California Rules of Court.
Feb 7 2008Received:
  Application for PERMISSION for The City of Laguna Beach to file LATE its joinder in a.c. briefs of Named Cities & Counties Attorney Philip D. Kohn
Feb 7 2008Received:
  Application of The City of Laguna Beach TO JOIN in amicus briefs of Named Cities & Counties Attorney Philip D. Kohn
Feb 11 2008Change of contact information filed for:
  Glen Lavy and Benjamin W. Bull of Prop. 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund- Alliance Defense Fund.
Feb 13 2008Order filed
  The application of the City of Laguna Beach to join in the amicus curiae brief filed by the City of Los Angeles, et al., is hereby granted.
Feb 13 2008Filed:
  joinder of the City of Laguna Beach to the amicus curiae brief filed by the City of Los Angeles, et al.
Feb 15 2008Request for Extended Media coverage Filed
  Associated Press, by Stephanie Mullen.
Feb 19 2008Filed letter from:
  Glen Lavy, Attorney for Prop. 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund (Respondent) re: focus of oral argument presentation.
Feb 20 2008Filed letter from:
  Christopher E. Krueger, Sr. Asst. Attorney General for Respondents ( State of Calif, and Attorney General Brown) re: focus of oral argument presentation.
Feb 20 2008Filed letter from:
  Mathew D. Staver, of Liberty Counsel, for Campaign for California Families (Appellant) re: focus of oral argument presentation.
Feb 20 2008Filed letter from:
  Michael Maroko of Allred, Maroko & Goldberg, for Tyler, Olson. Perry and De Blieck (Respondents) re: focus of oral argument presentation.
Feb 20 2008Filed letter from:
  Therese M. Stewart, Chief Deputy Attorney General, for the City and County of San Francisco ( Respondent) re: focus of oral argument presentation.
Feb 20 2008Request for Extended Media coverage Granted
  The request for extended media coverage, filed by the Associated Press on February 15, 2008, is granted, subject to the conditions set forth in rule 1.150, California Rules of Court.
Feb 20 2008Filed letter from:
  Shannon Minter, of NCLR, for Rymer, et al., (Respondents) re: focus of oral argument presentation
Feb 20 2008Filed letter from:
  Waukeen Q. McCoy, Esq. for Clinton, et al. ( Respondents) re: focus of oral argument presentation
Feb 20 2008Filed letter from:
  Kenneth C. Mennemeier , Esq., for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, et al. (Appellants) re: focus of oral argument presentation
Feb 22 2008Supplemental brief filed
  Respondents, Joshua Rymer, et. al. by counsel, Shannon Minter.
Feb 22 2008Request for judicial notice filed (granted case)
  Respondents, Joshua Rymer, et.al. by counsel, Vanessa H. Eisenmann
Feb 25 2008Received:
  Respondent, City and County of San Francisco's supplemental authority with request for judical notice in same document. Chief Deputy City Attorney, Therese M. Stewart.
Feb 26 2008Request for judicial notice granted
  The requests for judicial notice filed by the Rymer petitioners on February 22, 2008, and by the City and County of San Francisco on February 25, 2008, are granted.
Mar 4 2008Cause argued and submitted
 
Mar 12 2008Received:
  letter from Petitioner, City and County of San Francisco re: post oral argument citations by Chief Deputy City Attorney, Therese M. Stewart.
Mar 17 2008Received:
  oppsition letter of respondent, State of California, to letter received 3-12-08 from petitioner by Senior Assistant Attorney General, Christopher E. Krueger.
Mar 19 2008Note:
  Letter sent to Chief Deputy City Attorney, Therese M. Stewart, for Petitioner- letter received by the Court on March 12, 2008 is being returned unfiled.
May 14 2008Notice of forthcoming opinion posted
 
May 15 2008Opinion filed: Judgment reversed
  The judgment of the Court of Appeal is reversed, and the matter is remanded to that court for further action consistent with this opinion. Opinion by George, C.J. -----joined by Kennard, Werdegar, & Moreno, JJ. Concurring Opinion by Kennard, J. Concurring and Dissenting Opinion by Baxter, J. -----joined by Chin, J. Concurring and Dissenting Opinion by Corrigan, J.
May 22 2008Request for judicial notice filed (granted case)
  Proposition 22 Legal Defense And Education Fund, respondent by Timothy Donald Chandler, counsel
May 22 2008Rehearing petition filed
  Proposition 22 Legal Defense And Education Fund, respondent by Timothy Donald Chandler, counsel
May 27 2008Answer to rehearing petition filed
  Respondents Robin Tyler, etal ~Attorney Gloria Allred
May 28 2008Answer to rehearing petition filed
  Respondents, Joshua Rymer and Tim Frazer (answer to Prop. 22's petitiion for rehearing) by counsel, Shannon Minter.
May 28 2008Answer to rehearing petition filed
  City and County of San Francisco ( answer to Prop. 22's petition for rehearing) by counsel, Therese M. Stewart.
May 28 2008Request for judicial notice filed (granted case)
  City and County of San Francisco in support of Answer to Petition for Rehearing ( Prop 22's ) by counsel, Therese M. Stewart.
May 29 2008Request for judicial notice filed (granted case)
  in support of answer to petition for rehearing. respondents, Joshua Rymer and Tim Frazer by counsel, Shannon Minter.
May 29 2008Filed:
  notice of errata regarding the answer to petition for rehearing filed by respondents Joshua Rymer and Tim Frazer. Re: party designation.
May 29 2008Answer to rehearing petition filed
  State of California and the Attorney General ( to Prop 22's petition for rehearing). by Senior Assistant Attorney General, Christopher E. Krueger.
May 29 2008Request for modification of opinion filed
  Office of the Attorney General of the States of Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah. by Mark. L. Shurtleff, counsel
May 30 2008Rehearing petition filed
  and request for stay filed by Campaign for California Families, Respondent. by Mary E. McAlister, counsel
May 30 2008Request for judicial notice filed (granted case)
  Campaign for California Familes, Respondent by Mary E. McAlister, counsel
May 30 2008Answer to rehearing petition filed
  By Gregory Clinton, petitioner, to petition filed by Proposition 22 Legal Defense And Education Fund. Waukeen Q. Mccoy, counsel
Jun 2 2008Received:
  letter from Attorney General of Texas and Attorney General of Pennsylvania asking to defer decision Attorney General of Texas, Greg Abbott, Attorney General of Pennsylvania, tom Corbett
Jun 2 2008Filed:
  Response of the City and County of San Francisco to the request of the Utah Attorney General requesting modification . by Chief Deputy City Attorney, Therese M. Stewart.
Jun 2 2008Answer to rehearing petition filed
  by Joshua Rymer and Tim Frazer et al., to petition for rehearing filed by Campaing for California Families. by Shannon Minter, counsel
Jun 2 2008Application filed
  by Joshua Rymer and Tim Frazer et al., for permission to file answer ot letter brief on the Attorney General of nine states. by Shannon P. Minter, counsel
Jun 3 2008Filed:
  letter from Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte, of New Hampshire, asking to be withdrawn as a signatory to the Attorney General of Utah's request for modification. by Deputy Attorney General Orville B. Fitch II.
Jun 3 2008Request for judicial notice filed (granted case)
  Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education fun in support of petition for rehearing by counsel, Timothy D. Chandler.
Jun 4 2008Filed:
  joinder in request for modification of opinion from the Office of the Attorney General of Missouri. by Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon, Attorney General
Jun 4 2008Filed:
  joinder of Kern County to the modification request of the ten Attorney Generals. by Deputy County Counsel, Steven L. Sanders.
Jun 4 2008Request for judicial notice filed (granted case)
  Campaing for California Families's second request in support of petition for rehearing. by counsel, Mary E. McAllister.
Jun 4 2008Filed:
  letter from the Utah Attorney General Mark L. Shurtleff attaching a press release informing that the Attorney General from New Hampsire, Keyy A. Ayotte is withdrawing its signatory to their brief.
Jun 4 2008Filed:
  letter from Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia joining in the Attorney General of Utah's request for modification. Attorney General, Robert F. McDonnell.
Jun 4 2008Rehearing denied
  The requests for judicial notice filed on May 22, 2008, by the Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund and on May 30, 2008, by the Campaign for California Families are granted in part and denied in part. The requests for judicial notice of the information regarding authentication of signatures on the "Limit on Marriage" initiative published by the Secretary of State at http://www.sos.ca.gov/ elections/pend_sig/init_sample_1298.pdf are granted. In all other respects, the requests for judicial notice are denied. The request for judicial notice filed on May 28, 2008, by the City and County of San Francisco is granted. The petition for rehearing filed by the Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund on May 22, 2008, is denied. The petition for rehearing and motion for stay filed by the Campaign for California Families on May 30, 2008, is denied. Baxter, Chin, and Corrigan, JJ., are of the opinion rehearing should be granted. The request to stay the effective date of the decision of the court filed on May 15, 2008, until after the November 2008 election is denied. The decision filed on May 15, 2008 will become final on June 16, 2008 at 5 p.m.
Jun 5 2008Filed:
  letter from the Attorney General of Utah asking that the court defer the effective date of its' decision.
Jun 17 2008Remittitur issued (civil case)
 
Jun 17 2008Received:
  Receipt for remittitur from First Appellate District, Division Three.

Briefs
Feb 14 2007Opening brief on the merits filed
 
Apr 2 2007Opening brief on the merits filed
 
Apr 2 2007Opening brief on the merits filed
 
Apr 3 2007Opening brief on the merits filed
 
Apr 3 2007Opening brief on the merits filed
 
Apr 3 2007Opening brief on the merits filed
 
Jun 7 2007Answer brief on the merits filed
 
Jun 14 2007Answer brief on the merits filed
 
Jun 14 2007Answer brief on the merits filed
 
Jun 14 2007Answer brief on the merits filed
 
Jun 14 2007Answer brief on the merits filed
 
Jun 15 2007Answer brief on the merits filed
 
Jun 20 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Jun 20 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Aug 17 2007Reply brief filed (case not yet fully briefed)
 
Aug 17 2007Reply brief filed (case not yet fully briefed)
 
Aug 17 2007Reply brief filed (case not yet fully briefed)
 
Aug 17 2007Reply brief filed (case not yet fully briefed)
 
Aug 23 2007Reply brief filed (case not yet fully briefed)
 
Aug 27 2007Reply brief filed (case fully briefed)
 
Aug 29 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Sep 14 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Oct 4 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Nov 13 2007Response to amicus curiae brief filed
 
Nov 13 2007Response to amicus curiae brief filed
 
Nov 14 2007Response to amicus curiae brief filed
 
Brief Downloads
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Becket Fund Amicus Brief.pdf (102042 bytes) - Amicus Brief: Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Amicus Brief.pdf (2781976 bytes) - Amicus Brief: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
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Professors Kathleen Sullivan and Pam Karlan Amicus Brief.pdf (1782952 bytes) - Amicus Brief: Professors of Constitutional Law
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Prof_Internat_Law_Amicus_Curiae_Brief.pdf (1739597 bytes) - Amicus Brief: Professors of International Law
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Professors_Fam_Law_Amicus_Curiae_Brief.pdf (120992 bytes) - Amicus Brief: Professors of Family Law
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Nat_Legal_Foundation_Amicus_Curiae_Brief.pdf (147252 bytes) - Amicus Brief: National Legal Foundation
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AntiDefamation_League_Amicus_Curiae_Brief.pdf (1421249 bytes) - Amicus Brief: ADL
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GLAD and The Equality Federation Amicus Brief.pdf (1827878 bytes) - Amicus Brief: GLAD and The Equality Federation
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Pac_Justice_Institute_Amicus_Curiae_Brief.pdf (530809 bytes) - Amicus Brief: Pacific Justice Institute
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Asian Pacific Islander Groups Amicus Brief.pdf (7869322 bytes) - Amicus Brief: Asian Pacific Islander Groups
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Judicial Watch Amicus Curiae Brief.pdf (1576250 bytes) - Amicus Brief: Judicial Watch
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Council Secular Humanism Amicus Curiae Brief.pdf (276349 bytes) - Amicus Brief: Council of Secular Humanists
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knights of columbus amicus.pdf (292885 bytes) - Amicus Brief: Knights of Columbus
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Kmiec_Amicus_Brief.pdf (2582637 bytes) - Amicus Brief: Douglas Kmiec
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United_Families_Amicus_Curiae_Brief.pdf (315331 bytes) - Amicus Brief: United Families International
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unitarianamicus.pdf (2188211 bytes) - Amicus Brief: Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations et al.
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African-American_Pastors_in_CA_Amicus_Curiae_Brief.pdf (1007003 bytes) - Amicus Brief: African-American Pastors in CA
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South_Poverty_Law_Ctr_Amicus_Curiae_Brief.pdf (919843 bytes) - Amicus Brief: Southern Poverty Law Center
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Amicus City of LA.pdf (4008662 bytes) - Amicus Brief: City of Los Angeles
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Beverly_Hills_Bar_Amicus_Brief.pdf (1224007 bytes) - Amicus Brief: Beverly Hills Bar Ass'n
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NAACP Legal Defense Fund.pdf (1025580 bytes) - Amicus Brief: NAACP Legal Defense Fund
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NAACP_Amicus_Curiae_Brief.pdf (178175 bytes) - Amicus Brief: NAACP of Northern California
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Cal_Women's_Law_Center_Amicus_Curiae_Brief.pdf (3959561 bytes) - Amicus Brief: California Women's Law Center
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Bar_Assn_of_SF_Amicus_Curiae_Brief.pdf (91844 bytes) - Amicus Brief: Bar Ass'n of San Francisco
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01Campaign_for_Cal_Families_Answer_to_Petition.pdf (217816 bytes) - Campaign for California Families Answer to Petition
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02Campaign_for_Cal_Families_Opening_Brief_on_Merits.pdf (221253 bytes) - Campaign for California Families Opening Brief on the Merits
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03Campaign_for_Cal_Families_Answer_Brief_on_Merits.pdf (2661754 bytes) - Campaign for California Families Answer Brief on the Merits
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04Campaign_for_Cal_Families_Reply_Brief.pdf (201073 bytes) - Campaign for California Families Reply Brief
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05Campaign_for_Cal_Families_Supplemental_Brief.pdf (256700 bytes) - Campaign for California Families Supplemental Brief
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06Campaign_for_Cal_Families_Reply_to_Supplemental_Brief.pdf (182981 bytes) - Campaign for California Families Reply to Supplemental Brief
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07Campaign_for_Cal_Families_Reply_to_Amicus_Brief.pdf (302075 bytes) - Campaign for California Families Reply to Amicus Brief
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Schwarzenegger Supplemental Brief.pdf (569854 bytes) - Schwarzenegger Supplemental Brief
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Schwarzenneger Answer to Brief on the Merits.pdf (1704044 bytes) - Schwarzenegger Answer to Brief on the Merits
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CA Answer to Petitions for Review.pdf (656063 bytes) - California Answer to Petitions for Review
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CA Opening Brief on the Merits.pdf (3319687 bytes) - California Opening Brief on the Merits
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CA Reply to Supplimental Briefs.pdf (2112134 bytes) - California Reply to Supplemental Briefs
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CA Supplimental Brief.pdf (607736 bytes) - California Supplemental Brief
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Prop 22 Defense Fund Answer Opposing Petitions for Review.pdf (318014 bytes) - Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund Answer Opposing Petitions for Review
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Prop 22 Legal Defense Fund Petition for Review.pdf (394600 bytes) - Propisition 22 Legal Defense Fund Petition for Review
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Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund Answer Brief on the Merits.pdf (805874 bytes) - Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund Answer Brief on the Merits
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Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund Errata to Answer to Petitioner's Opening Briefs.pdf (543899 bytes) - Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund Errata to Answer to Petitioner's Opening Briefs
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Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund Opening Brief.pdf (483821 bytes) - Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund Opening Brief
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Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund Reply Brief.pdf (404603 bytes) - Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund Reply Brief
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Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund Reply in Support of Petition for Review.pdf (262570 bytes) - Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund Reply in Support of Petition for Review
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Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund Supplemental Brief.pdf (327908 bytes) - Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund Supplemental Brief
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Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund Supplemental Reply Brief.pdf (322172 bytes) - Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund Supplemental Reply Brief
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1Clinton Petition for Review.pdf (8510761 bytes) - Clinton Petition for Review
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2Clinton Opening Brief.pdf (2005255 bytes) - Clinton Opening Brief
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3Clinton Reply Brief.pdf (1028544 bytes) - Clinton Reply Brief
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4Clinton Supp Brief.pdf (848895 bytes) - Clinton Supplemental Brief
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1Tyler_Opening_Brief.pdf (1870986 bytes) - Tyler Opening Brief
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2Tyler_Reply_Brief.pdf (979980 bytes) - Tyler Reply Brief
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01Rymer_Petition_for_Review.pdf (155410 bytes) - Rymer Petition for Review (1)
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02Rymer_Petitioner_for_Review.pdf (154088 bytes) - Rymer Petition for Review (2)
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03Rymer_Answer_to_Petition_for_Review.pdf (1129775 bytes) - Rymer Answer to Petition for Review
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04Rymer_Reply_to_Answers_to_Petition.pdf (493848 bytes) - Rymer Reply to Answers to Petition
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05Rymer_Opening_Brief_on_the_Merits.pdf (577155 bytes) - Rymer Opening Brief on the Merits
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06Rymer_Consolidated_Answer_Brief.pdf (1468514 bytes) - Rymer Consolidated Answer Brief
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07Rymer_Reply_Brief_on_the_Merits.pdf (276788 bytes) - Rymer Reply Brief on the Merits
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08Rymer_Supplemental_Brief.pdf (338785 bytes) - Rymer Supplemental Brief
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09Rymer_Reply_to_Supplemental_Briefs.pdf (226633 bytes) - Rymer Reply to Supplemental Briefs
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10Rymer_Consolidated_Answer_to_Amici_Curiae_Briefs.pdf (4802378 bytes) - Rymer Consolidated Answer to Amici Curiae Briefs
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01San_Francisco_Petition_for_Review_(Part_1).pdf (619080 bytes) - San Francisco Petition for Review (Part 1)
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02San_Francisco_Petition_for_Review_(Part_2).pdf (817586 bytes) - San Francisco Petition for Review (Part 2)
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03San_Francisco_Answer_to_Petition_for_Review.pdf (1113724 bytes) - San Francisco Answer to Petition for Review
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04San_Francisco_Reply_to_Answer_to_Petition_for_Review.pdf (236987 bytes) - San Francisco Reply to Answer to Petition for Review
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05San_Francisco_Opening_Brief_on_Merits_(Part_1).pdf (497893 bytes) - San Francisco Opening Brief on Merits (Part 1)
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06San_Francisco_Opening_Brief_on_Merits_(Part_2).pdf (2640699 bytes) - San Francisco Opening Brief on Merits (Part 2)
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07San_Francisco_Consolidated_Answer_Brief_on_the_Merits.pdf (2054055 bytes) - San Francisco Consolidated Answer Brief on the Merits
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08San_Francisco_Supplemental_Brief.pdf (3204409 bytes) - San Francisco Supplemental Brief
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09San_Francisco_Consolidated_Reply_Brief_on_the_Merits.pdf (3233038 bytes) - San Francisco Consolidated Reply Brief on the Merits
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11San_Francisco_Answer_to_Amicus_Briefs.pdf (2309135 bytes) - San Francisco Answer to Amicus Briefs
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10San_Francisco_Consolidated_Reply_to_Suppl_Briefs.pdf (529826 bytes) - San Francisco Consolidated Reply to Supplemental Briefs
If you'd like to submit a brief document to be included for this opinion, please submit an e-mail to the SCOCAL website
May 27, 2010
Annotated by basmith1

The issue in this case is whether excluding homosexual couples from state-sanctioned marriage licenses violates the California constitution.

This appeal is a consolidation of six separate appeals filed by gay and lesbian couples seeking recognition of their relationships as “marriages.” From the time California became a state, civil law limited marriage to heterosexual couples and, in 2000 (Proposition 22), California voters affirmed this limitation. In 2004, the May of San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to homosexual couples. In this appeal, Plaintiffs argued three things:

(1)Limiting marriage to heterosexual couples is a form of discrimination that should be subject to strict scrutiny because the law rests on a suspect classification of sex.

(2)Limiting marriage to heterosexual couples is a form of discrimination that should be subject to strict scrutiny because the law rests on a suspect classification of sexual orientation.

(3)Limiting marriage to heterosexual couples is a form of discrimination that should be subject to strict scrutiny because it denies homosexual couples a fundamental interest in marriage.

EQUAL PROTECTION ANALYSIS:

Deciding the case under California law, the Supreme Court of California held that imposing differential treatment to different couples on the basis of their sexual orientation is constitutionally suspect under the California constitution’s equal protection clause. This decision was the first appellate decision to recognize a “fundamental right to marry” for homosexual couples.

The Court held that this was not discrimination on the basis of sex; so, the law was not subject to strict scrutiny on that ground. The Court held that this was discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and then had to decide whether sexual orientation is a suspect classification under the California equal protection clause. To be a suspect classification, the Court held that the classification must:

(1)Refer to an immutable trait. The Court found that it was not possible to determine whether sexual orientation is such a trait.

(2)Bear no relation to the person’s ability to perform or contribute to society, applicable here.

(3)Be associated with a stigma of inferiority, including a history of legal and social disability.

Because the Court found the last 2 qualifications more important than the first, it held that sexual orientation was a suspect classification. Additionally, the Court noted that sexual orientation was an integral component of a person’s identity and that it would be inappropriate for the state to require a person to repudiate or change it in order to avoid discriminatory treatment.

Because the Court applied strict scrutiny to the classification, the state bore a heavy burden of demonstration a constitutionally compelling interest and proving that the classification based on sexual orientation was necessary to further that interest. In addressing this issue of the analysis, the Court noted that it didn’t have to defer to the popular will of the people of California, because the constitution of California supersedes their will as enacted via Proposition 22 (a state statute). The Court also noted that an interest in retaining a tradition (exclusive heterosexual marriage) that excludes an historically disfavored minority groups from a status that is extended to all others doesn't necessarily represent a compelling state interest for purposes of equal protection analysis; even when the tradition is long-standing and shared.

Finally, the Court noted that excluding same sex couples from access to marriage cannot properly be considered a compelling state interest for equal protection purposes because:

(1)An extension of the definition of marriage is not harmful. It would not deprice heterosexual couples or their children of any rights or alter the substantive nature of the institution of marriage, nor impugn on the religious freedom of anyone.

(2)Exclusion of homosexual couples from marriage is harmful to those couples and their children because it is an official statement that these couples are not of equal worth or dignity. Exclusion, the Court noted, is a mark of second class citizenship.

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS ANALYSIS:

In addressing the Plaintiff’s fundamental right argument (that marriage is a fundamental right from which they are improperly excluded), the Court held that the California constitution did not explicitly protect a fundamental right to marry, but the State Supreme Court had inferred one from a 1972 Amendment codifying a right to privacy. Additionally, in the fundamental rights analysis, the Court rejected the notion that heterosexual marriage as an institution must be preserved for the proper procreation and rearing of children, noting that child-rearing is not a requirement of heterosexual marriage and that homosexual parents also raise children jointly. In holding that marriage was a fundamental right and excluding homosexual couples violated a constitutionally-protected right to privacy, the Court found an additional reason to subject Proposition 22 to strict scrutiny.

KEY TERMS: gay marriage, homosexual marriage, traditional marriage, heterosexual marriage, proposition 22, fundamental rights, equal protection, california constitution

(Annotated by Barbara Smith)

Jan 5, 2009
Annotated by admin.ah

Written By: Eugene Kim

Issue
Does California's statutory ban on marriage between two persons of the same sex violate the California Constitution by denying equal protection of the laws on the basis of sexual orientation or sex, by infringing on the fundamental right to marry, or by denying the right to privacy and freedom of expression?

Holdings
1) Gay men and Lesbians are commonly subject to biased treatment that has no basis upon their ability to be a contributing member of society. Therefore, sexual orientation, like race, religion, or gender, is a suspect class for purposes of the Equal Protection Clause of the California Constitution. This suspect classification requires that the highest level of scrutiny be applied to laws potentially infringing upon the rights of these persons.
2) Differential treatment accorded opposite-sex and same-sex couples by state statutes impinges upon same-sex couples' fundamental privacy interest in having official family relationship accorded equal respect and dignity.
3) Family Code provisions limiting designation of marriage to opposite-sex couples are not necessary to serve compelling state interest, and thus those provisions violate state equal protection clause. Language in Family Code provision limiting marriage to a union “between a man and a woman” is unconstitutional, and must be stricken from the statute.
Court of Appeal judgment reversed.

Relevant Laws
Cal. Const. Art. 1 §§ 1, 7 (free text available at: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/.const/.article_1), and Cal. Fam. Code §§ 300, 308.5 (free text available at: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=fam&group=00001-01...)

Analysis
The Court first explains that its holding does not conflict with the earlier Lockyer decision because the issue of the constitutionality of same sex marriage was not before the court at that time. The Court then agrees with the plaintiffs in characterizing the right at issue as the right to marriage and not the right to same-sex marriage. The Court proceeds to discuss the vast array of benefits that marriage affords and concludes that the State cannot limit the right to marry on the basis of sexual orientation. The Court also finds that sexual orientation is a suspect classification under the California Constitution and the statute at issue must satisfy the strict scrutiny test. The Court looks at immutability in reaching this conclusion. Sexual orientation is a characteristic that is very personal and self-defining and therefore hard to change. Finally, the Court finds that the State did not offer interests of the compelling level to overcome the strict scrutiny test.

Significance
The Court's 4-3 decision reversed the previously existing ban on same-sex marriage in California embodied by two statutes (one enacted by the state legislature in 1977 and Proposition 22 in 2000) and made California the second state after Massachusetts to be the second state to allow same-sex marriage. Soon after Connecticut joined California and Massachusetts. The Court's classification of gays and lesbians as suspect class made California the first state in the United States to set that standard. Massachusetts, the first state to declare ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, did not use that standard.

Aftermath and Current Status
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger immediately issued a statement pledging to uphold the ruling. On June 4, 2008 the court denied the request for rehearing by the same 4-3 majority while unanimously denying a petition for a stay, affirming that the decision would take effect as scheduled. It further rejected moves to delay enforcement of the decision until after the November election, when voters will decide whether to reinstate a ban on same-sex nuptials. The Writ of Mandate directing the State Registrar of Vital Statistics and all County Clerks to comply with the ruling was issued by the Superior Court on June 19, 2008. The approval of Proposition 8 on November 4, 2008 prohibits same-sex marriage and further calls into question the continued validity of same-sex marriages already performed. However, the amendment does not disturb the court's holding that gays and lesbians constitute a suspect class for purposes of equal protection under Art. I. § 7.