Same-Sex Marriages

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

Just a few minutes ago, the California Supreme Court overturned a ban on same-sex marriages. (You can find a link to the court's decision here.) It's an important decision: California could become the second state to allow gay marriages.

We'll talk with a reporter from KQED, our member station in San Francisco, who has been covering the six cases, consolidated into one (Marriage Cases, S147999), and we'll hear from California's former attorney general and Vince Chhabria, a deputy attorney for the city of San Francisco.

If you have a question about the decision, leave it here. If you are part of a same-sex couple, living in California, what does this decision mean to you?

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

what were the main arguments from the judges that were not in favor of gay marriage?

Sent by Jay | 3:56 PM | 5-15-2008

Thank goodness! It's about time that a high court reached a sensible decision on the subject of same-sex marriage. Despite the seemingly endless baloney from the religious right about the sanctity of heterosexual marriage in the United States, the historical facts are simple. The pilgrims who came to America for religious freedom understood that marriage is not a sacrament, it's a civil contract. They didn't even allow marriages to take place in their churches. That's the simple fact that nobody talks about. Look it up.

Sent by Jim McClure | 3:59 PM | 5-15-2008

Well, it appears once again that it doesn't matter what the voters say. It still gets overturned in the Supreme Court. Why do we bother???

Sent by citygirl | 4:04 PM | 5-15-2008

Jim - gay used to mean happy. Marriage may have once been something else, but it has ALWAYS been a union between a man and woman. I fully support gays' ability to get all the benefits of marriage. Just don't call it marriage. That word is already taken. It seems to me that part of the motivation for calling it marriage, is so that gays can cram it down the throat of the religious right. You get more bees with honey...

Sent by Derek Vogel | 4:20 PM | 5-15-2008

Here in Rochester, NY, the issue of reciprocity has been settled. The NYS Court of Appeals denied appeal to a lower court decision which required Monroe County to recognize a same-sex marriage performed in Canada. The Martinez vs. New York case has paved the way for same-sex couples to get married outside of New York and have the State of New York recognize them legally.

Sent by Jim Villone | 4:31 PM | 5-15-2008

Me personally do not care if gay people want to get married, but I do see the need for us to define marriage as I don't want 4 people and a dog 10 years from now stating they have a right to get married. Lets define it between 2 legal human beings. Also I am not comfortable with courts legislating from the bench. There is fine line between judges stating a law is unconstitutional and deciding against the will of the people, which they obviously did here. Now maybe the people were wrong, i do not know. But I also look at it this way, as an old school moderate republican (I am not a conservative), I believe in state rights. Meaning if Alabama wants to ban gay marriage, thats their right, also if Mass, and Cali want to legalize it, thats their right also, neither state in my opinion has any right to tell the other what they can and cannot do. Not all of us republicans are homophobic =).

Sent by jr | 4:40 PM | 5-15-2008

Why would heterosexuals try and stop homosexual unions? I understand that it is not allowed in some religions, but nobody has tried making atheism illegal in quite a long time. What do heterosexuals gain by blocking homosexual marriage? Is it all spiteful, or is there an actual personal reason?

Sent by Jordan Putnam | 7:09 PM | 5-15-2008

Making something legal doesn't make it right. Benefits are for those who play by the rules, not to those who attempt to change the rules by twisting the law.

Sent by Steve G | 9:22 PM | 5-15-2008

This is great news. I am proud that reason and fair mindedness won this day. Gay marriage is about protecting families. Contrary to some beliefs, homosexuals do indeed have families too and we should in the spirit of equality extend to them all the rights and protections of marriage afforded on the state and federal level. Calling it by any name other than marriage will only serve to create a "seperate but equal" scenario and the history of this nation has shown us that such a case amounts to anything but real equality.

Sent by Bob | 10:10 PM | 5-15-2008

The will of the people, barring a constitutional amendment, is always subservient to the Constitution. Good for these judges who know that better than most Americans. It doesn't matter how much support something has, if it's unconstitutional, it should not stand.

Sent by Triphesas | 3:31 AM | 5-16-2008

The argument on the "sanctity of marriage" needs to redirect itself on reality shows, such as the Bachelor, Bachelorette, & Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire". They are the ones who are making a mockery out of marriage.

Sent by Lisa | 2:02 PM | 5-16-2008

I think this is such fantastic news and a great step forward in my state, and hopefully for the nation at large. In california we now have all 3 branches of government in support of marriage equality.

The message that I think needs to get out to people who feel their values are being undermined is that, as people forming same-sex unions, our marriages are simply not a threat to you. Please, allow us the same opportunities you enjoy as straight couples. We are your children, your siblings, your friends and neighbors, and we deserve equality.

Sent by Christopher Eberz | 2:03 PM | 5-16-2008

I think that it doesn't matter! We should be able to get married to who we love!

Sent by Red | 12:25 PM | 5-19-2008

If change was up to the will of the people we would still have laws against inter-racial marriage, womens right to vote, desegregation, perhaps even slavery. The will of the people is not a trump card for what is right and fair.

Congratulations to a moderate Republican Supreme Court that understands that right is not always easy. Now, my partner of 13 and 1/2 years and I can get married and make undeniable the commitment we have and receive that protection of the law.

Sent by Teri Hawkins | 5:39 PM | 5-19-2008

Seems odd:

Before the Supreme Court decision, two men could only get married in churches in California. Now they can get married at City Hall instead. That should make the religious right happy.

The California Supreme Court decision recognized a right of individuals to make a personal, private choice about how they live their lives and what they believe. That decision and the Constitution apply to religious freedom and the freedom to marry.

Both sides won, but only one side is happy.

Now I understand what "gay" truly means... and marriage... and liberty.

Sent by Leslie | 10:43 AM | 5-22-2008