Gay and lesbian
couples who are legally married outside the state of
California cannot obtain benefits for their partners if they
work for the city of San Jose, a Santa Clara
County judge has ruled, The [San Jose] Mercury
News reported Monday.
In 2004 the San Jose city council voted to give
same-sex couples the same benefits given to straight
couples. However, conservative legal groups filed a
lawsuit to stop the measure.
Monday's ruling is largely symbolic and
has little effect in San Jose, according to the
newspaper, because only Massachusetts permits same-sex
marriages. California's domestic-partnership law allows city
workers who register to get benefits for their partners.
"It's basically moot," San Jose city attorney Rick
Doyle told the News.
Still, conservative groups claimed a victory.
They say they have blocked the city's attempt to
recognize marriage equality for gay couples, according
to the newspaper.
Superior court judge Mary Jo Levinger wrote in
her ruling that the city council's efforts "to
recognize all marriages of city employees certified by
other jurisdictions is contrary to California law and is
therefore preempted. Furthermore, only marriages between a
man and a woman may be recognized by the city of San