Today's headline: California Supreme Court Overturns Gay Marriage Ban
The Associated Press (my bold):
"The California Supreme Court has overturned a voter-approved ban on gay marriage, paving the way for the state to become the second in the United States where gay and lesbian residents can marry.
The justices released the 403 decision Thursday, saying that domestic partnerships are not a good enough substitute for marriage in an opinion written by Chief Justice Ron George.
Outside the courthouse, gay marriage supporters cried and cheered as news spread of the decision.
In striking down the ban, the court said, '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 responsibility 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 on which to deny or withhold legal rights.
The cases were brought by the city of San Francisco, two dozen gay and lesbian couples, Equality California and another gay rights group in March 2004 after the court halted San Francisco's monthlong same-sex wedding march that took place at Mayor Gavin Newsom's direction.
'Today the California Supreme Court took a giant leap to ensure that everybody--not just in the state of California, but throughout the country--will have equal treatment under the law,' said City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who argued the case for San Francisco.