The highest court in California has ruled in favour of equality for same-sex couples’ access to civil marriage in the American state.

Lawyers successfully argued that California violates the equal protection clause of its own constitution.

The Court found that same-sex couples in California should be given access to full civil marriage. 

California has the highest number of same-sex couples of any state in the US.

Kate Kendall, executive director of America’s National Centre for Lesbian Rights, said:

“We are grateful that the Court upheld the most precious and cherished values of fairness, opportunity, and most basically, the fundamental right to marry the person you love.

“What an enormous privilege to be a witness to this powerful and poignant moment in our movement.”

Molleen Matsumura, co-chair of the Oakland, California chapter of PFLAG, the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, said:

“California has embraced our children and affirmed our families.”

Mrs Matsumura’s lesbian daughter was married in San Francisco, in 2004, when Mayor Gavin Newsome began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“My husband and I are proud to now live in a state where our daughter’s union will be equal to our own,” Mrs Matsumura continued.

“Marriage equality is an essential part of full equality for our children. There is nothing more pro-family than extending full citizenship to our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender loved ones.

 

 

“And there is nothing more worthy of celebration than the loving unions of couples who are, at last, free to fully participate in every aspect of family life.”

Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director of the Family Equality Council, said:

“Every day thousands of LGBT-headed California families wake up, ready their children for school, participate in their communities, and worry about bedtime and bath time.

“Until today these moms, dads, sons and daughters cared for and supported each other without the full protection of California law.

“In terms of guaranteed protections, there is no other legal institution as powerful as marriage in this country.

“With this historic and fair-minded ruling, the California Supreme Court has taken a tremendous step in moving equality forward for California families.

“Though we recognise that it does not take a marriage to make a family, we understand that thousands of same-sex couples and their families in California and beyond desire to marry and are in critical need of the legal protections that marriage affords.”