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orty-five years ago, in 1965, the legendary music group the Mamas and the Papas had a hit song, “California Dreamin’” about a man supposedly somewhere in the East on a winter day. The leaves were brown, he laments, and the sky was grey, and his dream was to be in California. L.A. promised him safety and warmth, the song continues, if only he could get there. For same-gender California couples, their dream has been similar. The continual promise of the right to marry has been dotted with bright interludes promising that this right would actually become a reality. But, invariably, skies again turn grey, leaving couples wondering about the warmth of California, one of the few states to officially recognize “Juneteenth,” June 19 in 1865, the date Texas abolished slavery... and one of the states that officially celebrates June 12, “Loving Day,” that date in 1967 when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned laws banning interracial marriage. But the battle to make the California climate

Proposition 8 fails to advance any The History of the rational basis in singling out gay men Dream and lesbians for denial of a marriage 1999-2004 license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than “Getting there,” in this case the legalization of same-gender marriage, enshrine in the California Constitution has had a long and eventful history. the notion that opposite-sex couples In May 1999 the California State are superior to same-sex couples. Legislature approved domesticBecause California has no interest in partnerships, but in 2000, 61% of voters passed Proposition discriminating against gay men and California 22, supporting only man-woman lesbians, and because Proposition 8 marriage. Thousands of others prevents California from fulfilling its disagreed, and in 2004, Legislator constitutional obligation to provide Mark Leno formulated his “gendermarriages on an equal basis, the neutral” marriage bill, AB 19, eventually rewritten, resubmitted, court concludes that Proposition 8 is and vetoed several times. unconstitutional. Meanwhile, on February 12, 2004, under the approval of San Francisco - Judge Vaughn Walker Mayor Gavin Newsom, hundreds of same-gender couples married, many safe and warm for same-gender couples continues on, leaving many in the LGBT at San Francisco City Hall. community sincerely hoping that some day California’s Supreme Court halted the soon, the Sunshine State will “get there.”

Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 17

Volume 5, Issue 2  

Autumn/Winter 2010

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