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Gay Marriage Laws in California

Gay Marriage Laws in CaliforniaMany
people have been part of an effort aimed at legalizing gay marriage. In fact,
in California, gay marriages used to be legally allowed and recognized.
However, as of 2008, California Proposition 8, defined marriage as a union
between a man and a woman. 

In addition, Proposition 8 does not allow any other
type of union to be recognized by the state. For several years previous to
Proposition 8, domestic partnerships were recognized, which entitled partners
to all of the rights and responsibilities of marriage. In fact, partners were
legally allowed to change their last names, to match that of their partner.

In early 2008, there were oral arguments questioning equal rights for the LGBT
community in California. Gay marriage was legally allowed for 6 months in 2008
because the State Supreme court held that the limitations on same sex unions
violated the constitution. However, a public initiative reinstated the ban on
gay marriage in California. Gay marriages performed during a certain time,
still have the designation of marriage in California.

However, they are not
likely to lean towards legalizing gay marriage in the immediate future. In California,
gay marriages are no longer recognized. While, the state does not recognize new
marriages in the LGBT community,  is does grant the rights of marriage to
same sex unions.  In fact, Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 54, which
recognizes all gay marriages that took place before November, 2008. Those
marriages could have taken place in any state, as long as they occurred before
that date.

Proposition 8 was challenged in The Supreme Court of California  but was
upheld by a vote of 6-1. However, the courts allowed California gay marriages
to remain valid if the took place prior to November 5, 2008. However, many
people are making an attempt at legalizing gay marriage. In fact, Perry v.
Schwarzenegger is a current case aimed at at legalizing gay marriage, by
challenging the legal validity of Proposition 8.

The case could have have legal
ramifications nationwide. Depending on the outcome, this case could be a large
step toward legalizing gay marriage nationwide. While many in California still
register domestic partnerships with the state, they are striving to regain the
rights lost when Proposition 8 passed.