The California Supreme Court has issued an unusual request in its hearing of a lawsuit for marriage equality: each side has been asked to answer three straightforward questions.According to a story posted on 356Gay.com yesterday, Californiaâ€™s highest court posed the questions because the justices felt that the briefs filed by both sides earlier this year had failed to address several basic points on the matter.
The first answer the court required from both sides was a specific and detailed explanation of how Californiaâ€™s existing domestic partnership law–one of the most comprehensive in the country–and legal marriage differ from one another in terms of legal rights for families.
Secondly, the court required lawyers from both sides to offer their interpretations of what the California state constitutionâ€™s provisions might be for marriage rights. Whether the constitution implicitly extends legal equality for gay and lesbian couples seeking marriage, or implicitly limits marriage to heterosexual couples, the existing constitutional provisions would have to be followed until and unless an amendment changed the stateâ€™s constitutional provisions for marriage.
From the second questionâ€™s ramifications, the court also sketched out a third question: “Do the terms â€™marriageâ€™ or â€™marryâ€™ themselves have constitutional significance under the California constitution?”
To read more, go to EdgeBoston.