252. Court Approves Same-Sex Marriage

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On May 15, 2008, the California Supreme Court approved same-sex marriages in the state of California. By a vote of 4 to 3, the court declared that limiting a marriage to a union between a man and a woman violated the state constitution.

The court's decision was a huge victory for gays and lesbians throughout the state. Hundreds waited outside the courthouse in Sacramento for the announcement, which they greeted with cheers, hugs, and kisses. TV crews interviewed joyful couples.

However, conservative opponents have vowed to fight the decision. They plan to gather over a million signatures for a constitutional amendment in November to overturn this decision. If California voters approve the amendment, lawyer Gloria Allred said, "I will take this case to the US Supreme Court. Gays must be free to marry."

It was only 60 years ago that most states banned interracial marriages. However, in 1967 the US Supreme Court ended those bans. Now the conflict is about sex instead of race. At present, only two states legally recognize same-sex marriages—Massachusetts and California. Worldwide, only five countries legally recognize such marriages.

"California has joined the 21st century," said Elton John. "Now Cole Porter and I can finally get married in our favorite city, San Francisco."

"If we normal people don't vote for the amendment," said conservative George Smith, "God will surely destroy this entire state."


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