New and Venerable Institutions: Wedstock

Mr. and Mrs. John Malispina. Mr. Malispina: "There's no bigotry behind this sign. Not an ounce. Love and tolerance says it exactly. They want to get married. Guess what? Marriage is between a man and a woman. Do they want something along those lines or do they want marriage? When they can start a family by themselves they can talk about marriage. Marriage is instituted to raise a family. It's the building block of our society. If they want to have their own relationships, we're not here to stop that, but marriage is something sacred and special. We're married because we chose to spend the rest of our lives together." Mrs. Malispina: "We feel that marriage was not instituted by the state. We feel that marriage was instituted by God. The hearing today is about Mayor Newsom breaking the laws of the land. We feel he broke the laws of God first then broke the laws of the land."

Wedstock: On the morning of May 25, 2004, the California Supreme Court heard arguments on the question of whether Mayor Gavin Newsom overstepped his authority, breaking the law when he issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples in San Francisco. Attorneys for the City argued that under his oath of office, Newsom is individually responsible for upholding the Constitution of the state which calls for equal protection for all citizens under the law. The attorneys maintain that Prop 22, which defines marriage as an opposite-sex arrangement, is unconstitutional. (A separate challenge lies ahead on the constitutional argument.) During the 9 a.m. session, it appeared that the court was leaning against Newsom. Nevertheless, optimism was high when attorneys on both sides met reporters and demonstrators on the steps outside the McAllister Street courthouse following arguments before the seven-member court. The justices are not expected to rule on the validity of the marriages themselves, regardless of its opinion on the legality Newsom's actions.

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08/12/04: California Supreme Court Rules Against Newsom, Wedstock Unions

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