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California Supreme Court Opens Way to Gay Marriage

Full disclosure: I care.

And now the news, from the AP: "California Supreme Court overturns voter-approved gay marriage ban, though more challenges loom."

The court published its 4-3 decision on that 2000 citizen referendum here. A key portion of the majority ruling:

[I]n 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.

The ruling takes effect in 30 days. Opponents of same-sex marriage say they've collected enough signatures to place a constitutional ban on gay nuptials on the ballot in November. State officials are now reviewing the more than 1.1 million signatures submitted; of those, 694,354 must be deemed to belong to currently registered state voters.

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Bonus: L.A. Times report.