At The First Church in Belmont
(Unitarian Universalist), Massachusetts, community leaders are
organizing a Freedom to Marry ice cream social to celebrate the
fourth anniversary of same-sex marriage in the state. Music and
wedding cakes will round out the evening. Undoubtedly, the
conversation will center on California's decision on same-sex
marriage due today.
Massachusetts is celebrating it's
fourth anniversary of marriage equality on Saturday, May 17th. And
while there have been missteps in implementing the measure - and vows
by conservatives to amend the Constitution - most backers are pleased
with the results. A March 2005 Boston Globe poll showed a
majority (56%) of Massachusetts residents favor the law.
While same-sex marriage is a reality in
only one of fifty states, advocates have high hopes that California
will join the club today.
On Wednesday the California Supreme
Court said that it would hand-down a long-awaited decision on gay
marriage today. The question before the court is: Does the state's
definition of marriage violate the civil rights of same-sex couples.
Today's decision in the nations's most
populous state will likely be controversial, no matter the outcome.
Gay marriage foes have fought hard to maintain the definition of
marriage within the state. In 2000 voters approved a ballot measure
defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
The court heard oral arguments in a
series of cases in March brought by the city of San Francisco, gay
rights groups, and gay and lesbian couples. The couples had married
in 2004 when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom suddenly started
issuing gay marriage licenses. Courts later ruled those licenses
The moderate seven-judge panel is
expected to issue it's ruling at 10a.m./1p.m. EDT Thursday.