State Supreme Court Upholds Domestic Partner Law
The state Supreme Court on Wednesday let stand a law that went into effect Jan. 1 that offers registered domestic partners many of the rights and protections married couples receive, including health insurance, the AP/San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
"Without comment," the justices unanimously voted to uphold an April decision by the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Sacramento, which ruled the measure does not conflict with a voter-approved initiative defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman (Kravets, AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/30).
Former Gov. Gray Davis (D) in 2003 signed the law, expanding the rights of same-sex, registered domestic partners in health, legal, financial and employment benefits. The measure expanded legislation passed in 2001 that allows same-sex couples to register as domestic partners and share benefits such as health insurance and hospital visitation rights (California Healthline, 9/22/03).
The court ruling ends the legal case but "may not resolve the issue," according to the San Francisco Chronicle. An initiative that would amend the state constitution to ban both same-sex marriage and marital benefits for domestic partners could be on the state ballot in 2006 (Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/30).