AP– A coalition of religious and social conservative groups is attempting to put a measure on the November ballot that would enshrine California’s current laws banning gay marriage in the state constitution.
The California Supreme Court has overturned a gay marriage ban in a ruling that makes the nation’s largest state the second one to allow gay and lesbian weddings.
The justices ruled 4-3 to overturn the ban. Chief Justice Ron George wrote the opinion.
In San Francisco, two dozen gay and lesbian couples and gay rights groups sued in March 2004 after the court halted San Francisco’s month-long same-sex wedding march.
The case before the court involved a series of lawsuits seeking to overturn a voter-approved law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. With the ruling, California could become the second state after Massachusetts where gay and lesbian residents can marry.
California already offers same-sex couples who register as domestic partners, the same legal rights and responsibilities as married spouses, including the right to divorce and to sue for child support. It’s therefore unclear what additional relief state lawmakers could offer short of marriage if the court renders the existing ban unconstitutional.
The Secretary of State is expected to rule by the end of June whether the sponsors gathered enough signatures to quality the marriage amendment, similar to ones enacted in 26 other states.
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