states that have opposed gay unions in court, California
does not maintain that marriage should be reserved for
heterosexuals because of its role in promoting stable
environments for raising children. Instead, the state
takes a position that marriage should be reserved for
straight couples because of its long tradition.
That was the
argument made Monday by deputy attorney general Christopher
Krueger, who appeared before a state appellate court to
oppose a lower-court ruling in favor of marriage for
gay couples. "It's not a mindless adherence to
tradition. It's a meaningful adherence to a definition
of marriage the way it has always been," he told a panel
of the first district court of appeal.
According to the
Associated Press, Justice J. Anthony Kline commented
more than once on the "inherent contradiction" in Krueger's
reasoning, noting that the attorney general was
"repudiating" the procreation argument while endorsing
a separate category of domestic partnerships. "So we
have two kinds of marriage in California. We call one
a domestic partnership, but it is really the same thing.
It's a second-class marriage," said Kline, who was
randomly assigned to the panel after two other
justices, Stuart R. Pollak and Peter J. Siggins,
recused themselves from the case.
came as the state appealed a San Francisco judge's decision
last year, clearing the way for California to follow
Massachusetts in allowing same-sex couples to wed.
Nuptials for gay pairs were put on hold pending the
appeal. The court heard from parties to six lawsuits, four
of them brought by the city of San Francisco and
lawyers for 20 gay couples who sued to overturn
California's marriage statutes; two were filed by
groups that want the laws upheld.
panel has 90 days to issue a ruling, but any decision is
expected to be appealed to the California supreme court.