Gay marriage conflict renewed in California

Judge overturns marriage ban
Gay and lesbian activists cheered a ruling by a San Francisco judge that has overturned a statewide ban on gay marriage, but their conservative opponents say the rekindled controversy will ignite efforts to pass amendments to state and federal constitutions.

In his ruling, San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer said “no rational purpose exists” to exclude gays and lesbians from civil marriage. Kramer said a 2000 voter referendum that defined marriage as between a man and a woman was unconstitutional.

“The idea that marriage-like rights without marriage is adequate smacks of a concept long rejected by the courts: separate but equal,” Kramer wrote. The case was brought by San Francisco officials and a dozen same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses.


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