University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name In re Marriage Cases PB-CA-0001
Docket / Court JCCP No. 4365 ( State Court )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Attorney Organization Lambda Legal
Case Summary
In 2004, the Mayor of the City of San Francisco ("City") directed the city clerk to alter forms and documents required for the issuance of marriage licenses so that they could be used by same-sex couples, and then began to issue such licenses. The Attorney General of California and opponents of ... read more >
In 2004, the Mayor of the City of San Francisco ("City") directed the city clerk to alter forms and documents required for the issuance of marriage licenses so that they could be used by same-sex couples, and then began to issue such licenses. The Attorney General of California and opponents of same-sex marriage filed writ petitions to enjoin this action and enforce then current Family Code provisions defining marriage as between one man and one woman. The City and groups of same-sex couples filed various actions seeking declaratory judgment as to the constitutionality of the Mayor's action and their marriages. The various actions were consolidated into a single case (see below for constituent actions).

The case brought together City of San Francisco v. State, No. A110449 (Cal. Ct. App.), No. CGC-04-429539 (Super. Ct. S.F. City & County); Tyler v. State, No. A110450 (Cal. Ct. App.), No. BS-088506 (Super. Ct. L.A. County); Woo v. Lockyer, No. A110451 (Cal. Ct. App.), No. CPF-04-504038 (Super. Ct. S.F. City & County); Clinton v. State, No. A110463 (Cal. Ct. App.), No. CGC-04-429548 (Super. Ct. S.F. City & County); Proposition 22 Legal Defense & Education Fund v. City of San Francisco, No. A110651 (Cal. Ct. App.), No. CPF-04-503943 (Super. Ct. S.F. City & County); and Campaign for California Families v. Newsom, No. A110652 (Cal. Ct. App.), No. CGC-04-428794 (Super. Ct. S.F. City & County). The Superior Court of San Francisco held that the Family Code provisions were unconstitutional under California equal protection doctrine. That holding was reversed on appeal, and opposite-sex definitions of marriage were held constitutional by the appellate court.

The California Supreme Court, C.J. Ronald M. George, held that privacy and due process provisions of the state constitution entitle all citizens to a right to marriage. It was the first U.S. case to establish sexual sexual orientation as a suspect classification subject to strict scrutiny. It found that provisions of California codes that limit marriage to its opposite-sex definition are not necessary to a compelling state interest. The Court also held that opponents of such marriages had no standing to request declaratory judgment on such a matter, as their injuries were merely intellectual, and not legally substantial. As such, opposite-sex only marriage provisions of the California Code were held unconstitutional.

It was after this case that California's Proposition 8 was put to the voters and approved: it stripped the title of marriage from same-sex domestic partnerships, until it was held unconstitutional by the federal courts. (See Perry, PB-CA-29, in this Clearinghouse.)

Margo Schlanger - 05/15/2008
Carlos Torres - 05/19/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Sexual orientatation
General
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Marriage
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) State of California
Plaintiff Description Same sex couples who wanted to get married.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Lambda Legal
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2008 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2008
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Limited Partnership
http://www.limitedpartnershipmovie.com/
By: Thomas G. Miller
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  United States Government says L.A. Gay Couple‚Äôs 1975 Marriage is Valid
The Pride L.A.
Written: Jun. 07, 2016
By: Troy Masters
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
S147999 (State Supreme Court) 06/17/2008
PB-CA-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
State Court Website
General Documents
[Opinion] 05/15/2008 (183 P.3d 384)
PB-CA-0001-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | External Link | Detail
Judges Baxter, Marvin R. (State Supreme Court)
PB-CA-0001-0001
Chin, Ming W. (State Supreme Court)
PB-CA-0001-0001
Corrigan, Carol A. (State Supreme Court)
PB-CA-0001-0001
George, Ronald M. (State Supreme Court)
PB-CA-0001-0001
Kennard, Joyce L. (State Supreme Court)
PB-CA-0001-0001
Moreno, Carlos R. (C.D. Cal.)
PB-CA-0001-0001
Werdegar, Kathryn M. (State Supreme Court)
PB-CA-0001-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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