In a 2-1 decision that the ACLU of Southern California and other groups will appealed to the California Supreme Court, a divided panel of the California Court of Appeal ruled today that the state may continue to bar same-sex couples from marriage.
In a strong dissent, Justice Anthony Kline wrote, '''The inescapable effect of the analysis the majority adopts is to diminish the humanity of the lesbians and gay men whose rights are defeated. The right to marry is of fundamental importance for all individuals.'
'''Today's decision was disappointing. We know that hundreds of thousands of lesbian and gay people were hoping the court would stand up for the dignity and equality of their relationships,' said Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, who argued before the Court. '''We believe Judge Kramer got it right when he ruled that excluding same-sex couples from marriage violates the constitutional promise of equality. We are optimistic that the California Supreme Court will affirm the trial court's historic ruling and strike down one of the last remaining laws to discriminate against an entire group of people in this state.'
The ACLU's Northern and Southern California affiliates joined NCLR, Heller Ehrman LLP, Lambda Legal, and the Law Office of David C. Codell in Woo v. California.
Civil liberties are most vulnerable at times of crisis