Friday, August 22, 2008

The Arizona Marriage Amendment -- More comments on the California Court's Decision

The California Court does acknowledge that there are a few differences, in California, between a "marriage" and a "domestic partnership." The case can be found at:

In re Marriage Cases, 43 Cal.4th 757, 183 P.3d 384 (Cal.,2008)

http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S147999.PDF

The California Court states:

"Although the governing statutes provide that registered domestic partners have the same substantive legal rights and are subject to the same obligations as married spouses, in response to a request for supplemental briefing by this court the parties have identified various differences (nine in number) that exist in the corresponding provisions of the domestic partnership and marriage statutes and in a few other statutory and constitutional provisions."

Some of those "differences" are as trivial as a difference in the registration process to a requirement that domestic partners have a common residence. See Page 42 of the Opinion.

The point here is that although there are some differences, the domestic partnership advocates in California have succeeded in obtaining virtually all of the rights of marriage. Not to be repetitious, but the marriage amendment issue isn't about rights and privileges. Passage of the Marriage Amendment, as it is now written, would not impact, in the slightest, the existing domestic partnership laws in California.The other states that have similar provisions are as follows:

  • Issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples: Massachusetts, California*
  • Recognizes same-sex marriages from other states: Rhode Island
  • Allows civil unions, providing state-level spousal rights to same-sex couples:Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, New Hampshire
  • Statewide law provides nearly all state-level spousal rights to unmarried couples (Domestic Partnerships): California, Oregon
  • Statewide law provides some state-level spousal rights to unmarried couples (Domestic Partnerships): Hawaii, Maine, District of Columbia, Washington
This compilation comes from the

http://www.ncsl.org/programs/cyf/samesex.htm

National Conference of State Legislatures

More later.

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