Friday, June 27, 2008

Same-Sex Marriage in California; Domestic Partnerships

As a result of the California Supreme Court's recent ruling that prohibiting gay marriage violates the California Constitution, many Golden State gay couples, who had previously registered at the state level as domestic partners, are wondering whether to dissolve their domestic partnership, before or following their gay marriage? This recent San Francisco Chronicle article sheds some light on the topic, and reports that state legislature attorneys advise that the domestic partnership need not be dissolved, prior to such any such marriage:
Same-sex couples who are registered as domestic partners do not have to dissolve that union before getting married, attorneys that advise the state Legislature said Thursday, just as county clerks and other local officials met to determine how they will enact last week's historic state Supreme Court ruling.
Given the possibility (perhaps even the likelihood, given the decisive ballot-box victory of the California Defense of Marriage Act in 2000) that California voters will turn out at polling places and amend the state constitution to prohibit gay marriage this November by passing Proposition 8, it is in fact probably advisable, though of course legally untested at this point, for gay couples to maintain domestic partner registration following and during their marriage, which would presumably remain in effect, following and despite any termination of their legal marriages due to a change in the law.

No comments: