A quote referencing a Marilyn Monroe film in connection with a gay marriage case has topped a legal journal's roundup of best quotes.

Among the National Law Journal's list of wittiest legal quotes of 2012 is one from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in its ruling overturning Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban.

In its opinion the court cited the 1953 film How to Marry a Millionaire, which starred Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall as three gold diggers. The film inspired a television sitcom of the same name.

“Had Marilyn Monroe's film been called How to Register a Domestic Partnership with a Millionaire, it would not have conveyed the same meaning,” the justices wrote.

California currently recognizes gay and lesbian couples with domestic partnerships.

The opinion also cited thoughts on marriage from Abe Lincoln, Frank Sinatra and William Shakespeare.

“Groucho Marx's one-liner, 'Marriage is a wonderful institution ... but who wants to live in an institution?' would lack its punch if the word 'marriage' were replaced with the alternative phrase. So too with Shakespeare's 'A young man married is a man that's marr'd,' Lincoln's 'Marriage is neither heaven nor hell, it is simply purgatory,' and Sinatra's 'A man doesn't know what happiness is until he's married. By then it's too late.'”