- May 19, 2004
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
- Libertarian - Right
SAN FRANCISCO — In a win for gay rights activists, a judge in California ruled Monday that marriage cannot constitutionally be limited to a legal union between a man and a woman.
If upheld on appeal, Monday's ruling by San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer would pave the way for the Golden State to follow Massachusetts in allowing same-sex couples to wed.
The judge wrote that the state's historical definition of marriage alone cannot justify not providing equal protection to gay and lesbian couples and their right to marry.
"It appears that no rational purpose exists for limiting marriage in this state to opposite-sex partners," Kramer wrote. "The state's protracted denial of equal protection cannot be justified simply because such constitutional violation has become traditional."
Kramer's decision came in a pair of lawsuits seeking to overturn California's statutory ban on gay marriage. They were brought by the city of San Francisco and a dozen same-sex couples last March, after the California Supreme Court halted the four-week marriage spree Mayor Gavin Newsom had initiated when he directed city officials to issue marriage licenses to gays and lesbians in defiance of state law.