The deadline is today, November 14, for the plaintiffs’ attorneys to file their appeal with the California Supreme Court over the issue of whether or not same-sex couples have the right to get married. Several lawsuits have been filed by gay and lesbian couples as well as the city of San Francisco on this matter.
Last week, the Court of Appeal in San Francisco issued an order saying it would not reconsider its ruling from last month by its panel (in a 2-1 vote) upholding state law, which stipulates that a couple have to be a man and a woman in order to get married-although the panel had agreed that gay and lesbian couples had the right to the same benefits as married couples under California’s domestic partnership system. The court’s ruling had overturned the decision by San Francisco Superior Court that had ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and their right to marry.
While same-sex couples are not currently allowed to get married, in California, they have the right to register their domestic partnership as long as they meet the requirements of Family code Section 297:
· Both partners must reside together.
· Neither must be married to someone of the opposite sex or in another domestic partnership that has not been terminated or dissolved.
· Both partners cannot be related to one another.
· Both partners must be 18 years of age or older.
· Both partners are members of the same sex or at least one partner must be 62 years of age or older.
· Both partners agree to the domestic partnership.
· Both partners agree that the Superior Court of California has jurisdiction over the termination of this partnership.
For a couple wishing to terminate their domestic partnership, here are the main differences between dissolving a domestic partnership and filing for divorce (by a married couple):