The Associated Press reported on Monday, Mar. 15, 2005:
"A judge ruled today [Mar. 15, 2005] that California can no longer justify limiting marriage to a man and a woman, a legal milestone that if upheld on appeal would pave the way for the nation's most populous state to follow Massachusetts in allowing same-sex couples to wed.
In an opinion that had been awaited because of San Francisco's historical role as a gay rights battleground, San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer said that withholding marriage licenses from gays and lesbians is unconstitutional.
'It appears that no rational purpose exists for limiting marriage in this state to opposite-sex partners,' Kramer wrote.
The judge wrote that the state's historical definition of marriage, by itself, cannot justify the unconstitutional denial of equal protection for gays and lesbians and their right to marry.
'The state's protracted denial of equal protection cannot be justified simply because such constitutional violation has become traditional,' Kramer wrote.
Kramer's decision came in a pair of lawsuits seeking to overturn California's statutory ban on gay marriage. They were brought by the city of San Francisco and a dozen same-sex couples last March, after the California Supreme Court halted the four-week marriage spree Mayor Gavin Newsom had initiated when he directed city officials to issue marriage licenses to gays and lesbians in defiance of state law." Mar. 15, 2005 Associated Press