“The California Supreme Court, striking down two state laws that had limited marriages to unions between a man and a woman, ruled Thursday [May 15, 2008] that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.
The court’s 4-to-3 decision, drawing on a ruling six decades ago that struck down the state’s ban on interracial marriage, would make California only the second state, after Massachusetts, to allow same-sex marriages…
Given the historic, cultural, symbolic and constitutional significance of marriage, Chief Justice Ronald M. George wrote for the majority, the state cannot limit its availability to opposite-sex couples.
‘In view of the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship,’ he wrote, ‘the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples.'”