Selected quotes from the California marriage amendment decision

Citations taken directly from federal district court opinion
Monday, August 09, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO — The following excerpts are from the federal district court opinion issued in Perry v. Schwarzenegger on Wednesday, which declared the California constitutional amendment affirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman unconstitutional under the U.S. Constitution:

p. 101 (factual finding #77): “Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.”

p. 113 (conclusions of law): “Rather, the exclusion exists as an artifact of a time when the genders were seen as having distinct roles in society and in marriage. That time has passed.”

p. 95 (factual finding #70): “The gender of a child’s parent is not a factor in a child’s adjustment.”

p. 127 (conclusions of law): “Indeed, the evidence shows beyond any doubt that parents’ genders are irrelevant to children’s developmental outcomes.”

p. 124 (conclusions of law): “Proposition 8 thus enshrines in the California Constitution a gender restriction that the evidence shows to be nothing more than an artifact of a foregone notion that men and women fulfill different roles in civic life.”

p. 124 (conclusions of law): “Rather, the evidence shows that Proposition 8 harms the state’s interest in equality, because it mandates that men and women be treated differently based only on antiquated and discredited notions of gender.”

p. 95 (factual finding #71): “Children do not need to be raised by a male parent and a female parent to be well-adjusted, and having both a male and a female parent does not increase the likelihood that a child will be well-adjusted.”

p. 96 (factual finding #72): “The genetic relationship between a parent and a child is not related to a child’s adjustment outcomes.”

p. 113 (conclusions of law): “Gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage; marriage under law is a union of equals.”

p. 127 (conclusions of law): “…same-sex parents and opposite-sex parents are of equal quality….”

p. 130 (conclusions of law): “Here, proponents assume a premise that the evidence thoroughly rebutted: rather than being different, same-sex and opposite-sex unions are, for all purposes relevant to California law, exactly the same.”

p. 77 (factual finding #48): “Same-sex couples are identical to opposite-sex couples in the characteristics relevant to the ability to form successful marital unions.”

p. 113 (conclusions of law): “The evidence shows that the movement of marriage away from a gendered institution and toward an institution free from state-mandated gender roles reflects an evolution in the understanding of gender rather than a change in marriage.”

p. 114 (conclusions of law): “Plaintiffs’ unions encompass the historical purpose and form of marriage.”

p. 132 (conclusions of law): “Many of the purported interests identified by proponents are nothing more than a fear or unarticulated dislike of same-sex couples.”

The opinion does not cite or mention the controlling U.S. Supreme Court precedent to this case, Baker v. Nelson.

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