SF Court Finds Gay Marriage Ban Illegal
March 17, 2005 7:31 PM
Many SF State students support a San Francisco Superior Court Judge�s ruling that the state ban on same sex marriage violates equal rights for citizens.
Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer argued in his opinion on March 14 that creating benefits for same-sex domestic partnerships without allowing marriage was insufficient. He referred to the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which forced the desegregation of public schools and overturned the doctrine of �separate but equal.�
�It was a move in the right direction,� said SF State student Billy Chaudy, 23, a graduate student in physics.
�It�s not my lifestyle, (but) I think they should be allowed to marry,� said Jordan Perlman, 22, a business major.
State law currently prohibits same-sex couples from marrying. Voters approved Proposition 22 in 2000 to amend two sections of the California Family Code to define marriage as a union between a man and woman.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom defied state law last year by instructing the city clerk to issue marriage licenses to some 4,000 gay and lesbian couples.
Kramer�s ruling came as the result of a lawsuit filed by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera on behalf of more than a dozen same sex couples. Kramer addressed the matter of the California Constitution directly, wrote, �no rational purpose exists for limiting marriage in this state to opposite sex partners."
The historic decision once again puts San Francisco in the limelight of the same sex marriage issue one year after the California Supreme Court voided the same sex marriages licenses.
Brandi Chalker, 20, international relations major, supports same sex marriage. She said public opinion is similar to that in 1948 when a U.S. Supreme Court decision resulted in California becoming the first state to legalize interracial marriage in America.
Chalker was optimistic and added that it may be hard to imagine now, but at one time the majority of the country did not support interracial marriage.
Diane Lai, 20, business major, said news of the ruling was great.
"I see nothing wrong with gay marriage,� Lai said. �I think everyone should have equal rights.
Henry Hopkins, 20, cinema major, said to deny equal rights to everyone in America is against the foundation of what this country claims to represent - freedom.
He said there should be laws and regulations, but laws that deny people freedom do not stand up for the best interests of the country.
�There shouldn�t be rules for people based on the moral standings of a couple (of) people,� Hopkins said.
Troy Nuijens, 25, disagreed and said all marriages should be illegal.
"I would argue that gay marriage is wrong,� said Nuijens, a theater and political science major. �It�s something that should happen in the church and not something that should happen in the government.�
�I don�t think (same sex marriage) is necessary,� said Zainab Sharif, 23, an English major. "I think marriage was created for a man and woman to share a family.�
�The case is likely to be appealed and will eventually end up before the California Supreme Court,� said Alexis Truchan, spokeswoman for City Attorney Herrera.
After the ruling, Herrera told reporters he was optimistic the decision �will withstand the inevitable appeals.�
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