02/28/2007 - California has been one of the most active battlegrounds in the same-sex marriage debate. The fight began in earnest in 2000, when the state's voters passed Proposition 22, which defined marriage as the union between a man and a woman. Four years later, following the legalization of gay marriage in Massachusetts, San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, a move that was quickly rebuked by the state Supreme Court. And in September 2005, the California Assembly became the first state legislature in the nation to deliberately approve same-sex marriages. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger ultimately vetoed the bill on the basis of Proposition 22. Now, the California Supreme Court is considering whether Proposition 22 violates the state constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law.
The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, the American Constitution Society, the Federalist Society and the USC Annenberg Knight Program convened a distinguished panel of experts to discuss the upcoming state Supreme Court case and other legal issues, as well as the political prospects for same-sex marriage in California and around the nation.
The Honorable Ken Starr, Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean and Professor of Law, Pepperdine University School of Law
Shannon Minter, Legal Director, The National Center for Lesbian Rights
John Eastman, Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service and Director of The Claremont Institute Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, Chapman University Law School
David Codell, Founding Partner, Law Office of David C. Codell
Dean Reuter, Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society
Read the transcript Same-Sex Marriage in California--Legal and Political Prospects on the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life Web site.