The Supreme Court of California upheld the controversial proposition 8 on Tuesday, May 26th, but gay rights activists have vowed that they will continue to fight for same-sex marriage in the state. In simple terms, Proposition 8, which was passed by voters in the November election, defines the word “marriage” in California to be a union between a man and a woman. It prevents a union between a same-sex couple to be called a “marriage.”
According to a report, in a 6-1 ruling, Chief Justice Ronald George wrote that, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California,” wrote George, noting the ruling was made after “setting aside our own personal beliefs and values.” The court did approve the validity of 18,000 same-sex marriages celebrated before the November vote passing the Proposition.
While the debate over same sex marriage will undoubtedly continue as both sides continue to attempt to sway the court of public opinion in their favor, one thing is very clear: same sex parents and couples need to be vigilant about protecting their rights as partners under the law.
California Family Code section 297.5, states that; “Registered domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law as are granted to and imposed upon spouses.” This means that, if same-sex couples have not yet become domestic partners, they should do so to ensure they benefit from all of the legal rights and obligations of marriages.
Same-sex couples should consult with a skilled California family law attorney who has experience with the legal issues faced by same-sex couples. While these steps can seem onerous, it’s important that same-sex couples do their homework in order to enjoy as many rights as possible in the temporary legal vacuum left by Proposition 8.
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