California Legislative Timeline February 12, 2004: Under the approval of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, hundreds of same-gender couples marry, many on the steps of San Francisco City Hall. March 2005: County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer declares the latest marriage ban unconstitutional. May 15, 2008: California’s Supreme Court declares that a new ban barring same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, marking samegender marriage again briefly legal. August 4, 2010: Judge Vaughn Walker rules that Proposition 8 provides no rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. August 12, 2010: Judge Walker is unconvinced by Proposition 8 proponents that the ban should remain in place while they appeal. Marriages may begin on August 18th. August 16, 2010: A hold is placed on Judge Walker’s August 4 decision until a threejudge panel can work on an appeal. The case will not be heard until December 6, 2010. How long will it be before the rainbow pointing to same-gender marriages in California is complete?
18 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE
John Lewis & Stuart Gaffney wed at San Francisco City Hall (6/17/2008) midst a media frenzy, marking the first historic day same-gender couples are permitted to marry in California. (Lewis & Gaffney had previously wed in 2004, under the decree issued by Mayor Newsom, but that marriage was later nullified.) Photo: Bella Pictures
weddings on March 11, 2004, stating that Newsom lacked legal authority. Although several discrimination lawsuits were filed, including the City and County of San Francisco v. State of California, on August 12, the more than 3,000 marriages were declared null.
In March 2005, a ray of sun again appeared when County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer declared both the marriage ban and Proposition 22 unconstitutional. With that, Mark Leno introduced AB 849, but in spite of Senate and Assembly confirmation, it was terminated by Governor Schwarzenegger, as was another Senate/Assemblyapproved version in September 2007.
The barring of samegender marriages was again declared unconstitutional on May 15, 2008 by California’s Supreme Court, and the joyous announcement was made, “Same sex marriage in California is legal now!” Thirty days later, on June 16, 2008 at 5 pm, California became only the second state to