The San Francisco 2004 same-sex weddings took place between February 11 and March 11, 2004, after San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom directed the city-county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. California Attorney General Bill Lockyer and a number of interest groups sued to end the practice. About 4,000 such licenses were issued before the California Supreme Court ordered a halt to the practice on March 11. On August 12, 2004, the California Supreme Court voided all of the licenses that had been issued in February and March.
San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. San Francisco is the 13th-most populous city in the United States, and the fourth-most populous in California, with 884,363 residents as of 2017. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles (121.4 km2), mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second-most densely populated large US city, and the fifth-most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is also part of the fifth-most populous primary statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area.
The Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco is the head of the executive branch of the San Francisco city and county government. The officeholder has the duty to enforce city laws, and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the legislative branch. The Mayor serves a four-year term and is limited to two successive terms. Because of San Francisco's status as a consolidated city-county, the mayor also serves as the head of government of the county; both entities have been governed together by a combined set of governing bodies since 1856.
Gavin Christopher Newsom is an American politician and businessman. He is the 40th and current governor of California, since 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as the 49th lieutenant governor of California from 2011 to 2019 and as the 42nd mayor of San Francisco from 2004 to 2011. He was sworn in as Governor of California on January 7, 2019. He is a national progressive figure who was a prominent early advocate for same-sex marriage, immigrant rights, universal health care, gun control, and the legalization of cannabis.
The legal dispute over the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples led to the 2008 In re Marriage Cases ruling by the California Supreme Court, which legalized same-sex marriage in California.
In re Marriage Cases, 183 P.3d 384 was a California Supreme Court case where the court held that laws treating classes of persons differently based on sexual orientation should be subject to strict judicial scrutiny, and that an existing statute and initiative measure limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples violate the rights of same-sex couples under the California Constitution and may not be used to preclude them from marrying.
Recently elected Mayor Gavin Newsom and other city officials began issuing marriage licenses in San Francisco, on February 12, 2004. Newsom asserted the California Constitution's equal protection clause gave him authority to grant same-sex marriage licenses. He said he was inspired to allow same-sex marriages after hearing President George Bush describe the need to prevent same-sex marriage, possibly by a federal constitutional amendment, in his State of the Union address.The previous November, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court had issued an order for same-sex marriages to begin in that state in May 2004. City officials said they had officiated at more than 900 weddings within the first three days.
Same-sex marriage is the marriage of two persons of the same sex or gender, entered into in a civil or religious ceremony.
George Walker Bush is an American politician and businessman who served as the 43rd president of the United States from 2001 to 2009. He had previously served as the 46th governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000.
The State of the UnionAddress is an annual message delivered by the President of the United States to a joint session of the United States Congress at the beginning of each calendar year in office. The message typically includes a budget message and an economic report of the nation, and also allows the President to propose a legislative agenda and national priorities.
On February 13, two organizations, the Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Campaign for California Families, filed actions in San Francisco Superior Court seeking an immediate stay to prohibit the City from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.The court refused to issue an immediate stay on February 20.
Campaign for California Families is a non-profit organization promoting socially conservative public policy in California, founded by Randy Thomasson, who also founded the Campaign for Children and Families. Campaign for California Families is best known for its successful effort to pass California's Proposition 22, which prohibited same-sex marriage before that measure was overturned by the decision in In re Marriage Cases in 2008. It also unsuccessfully attempted to legally intervene in the consolidated Strauss v. Horton case and in Perry v. Schwarzenegger.
On February 19, while defending its issuance of licenses in one court, the city initiated its own lawsuit against the state. It charged that the state statute defining marriage violated the state constitution by excluding same-sex couples.
On February 20, 2004, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered state Attorney General Bill Lockyer to "obtain a definitive judicial resolution" of the controversy.Speaking that same day at the state Republican convention, Schwarzenegger said:
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American actor, filmmaker, businessman, author, philanthropist, activist, politician, and former professional bodybuilder and powerlifter. He served two terms as the 38th Governor of California, from 2003 to 2011.
During my campaign, I talked about the importance of rule of law. We rely upon our courts to enforce our rule of law, but we're seeing in San Francisco that the courts are dropping the ball.... While we wait for the courts to act, it's time for the City of San Francisco to start respecting state law. It is time for the city to stop traveling down this dangerous path of ignoring the rule of law.
Lockyer responded by acknowledging his office had to defend state law "and allow the courts to determine whether the city has acted illegally", but said his political belief were sympathetic to issuing the licenses:
As a lifelong defender of civil rights, due process and equal protection for all, I do not personally support policies that give lesser legal rights and responsibilities to committed same-sex couples than those provided to heterosexual couples. That is why I have and continue to strongly support extending the benefits and responsibilities of marriage to same-sex couples through domestic partnerships and civil union statutes.
The Attorney General and a group of taxpayers filed separate petitions[ when? ] asking the California Supreme Court to issue an original writ of mandate. They asserted that the city's actions were unlawful and warranted the court's immediate intervention.[ citation needed ]
On March 9, the San Jose City Council, by a vote of 8-1, agreed to recognize any same-sex marriages of its employees performed in other jurisdictions.
On March 11, the Supreme Court of California issued a stay ordering the County of San Francisco "to enforce the existing marriage statutes and to refrain from issuing marriage licenses not authorized by such provisions" pending further review by the court. Mayor Newsom agreed to abide by the order.[ citation needed ]
The Supreme Court's ruling did not alter a scheduled March 29 San Francisco Superior Court hearing before Judge Ronald Quidachay in which the Campaign for California Families and the Alliance Defense Fund claimed that San Francisco's granting of same-sex marriage licenses was illegal. Quidachay later delayed the hearing pending state Supreme Court action.
On May 25, the state Supreme Court held hearings on the legality of issuing the licenses. San Francisco had wanted the question decided first by jury trials in lower courts rather than by the state Supreme Court. The Supreme Court suggested that San Francisco could file its own suit against the state, and the city filed such a suit that afternoon.
On August 12, exactly six months after the first licenses were issued to same-sex couples in San Francisco, the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the City and County of San Francisco had exceeded its authority and violated state law by issuing the marriage licenses. In a 5-2 decision in Lockyer v. City and County of San Francisco, the court also declared all same-sex marriages performed in San Francisco on the basis of those licenses to be void. It expressed no opinion on the constitutionality of the denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples.
Following the decision in Lockyer, the City and County of San Francisco filed a suit in Superior Court, seeking a declaration that "all California statutory provisions limiting marriage to unions between a man and a woman violate the California Constitution." That action and a series of others brought by advocacy groups were consolidated in a single proceeding called In re Marriage Cases ,in which the California Supreme Court held on May 15, 2008, that denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples violated the California Constitution.
On February 18, 2004, President George Bush declined to say whether he thought a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage was needed, but said:
I have watched carefully what's happening in San Francisco, where licenses were being issued, even though the law states otherwise. I have consistently stated that I'll support law to protect marriage between a man and a woman. Obviously these events are influencing my decision.
On February 24, he announced his support for a federal constitutional amendment that would "fully protect marriage while leaving the state legislatures free to make their own choices in defining legal arrangements other than marriage". His political supporters saw it as a way to underscore the fact that his likely opponent in the presidential race, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, had voted against the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
Republican consultant Ed Rollins and California Senate Republican Leader Jim Brulte thought scenes from these marriages would help recruit Republican voters to the polls in the 2004 election. On the other hand, Newsom and San Francisco successfully upstaged the Massachusetts marriages that occurred two months later, which would have reflected even more strongly on the Democratic presidential candidate that year, John Kerry, a senator from Massachusetts.[ citation needed ]
U.S. Representative from Massachusetts Barney Frank, himself openly gay, criticized San Francisco's actions, saying it was a "symbolic point" that diverted attention from the real struggle for gay rights.
For a brief time following the San Francisco events, several city or county officials in Sandoval County, New Mexico, New Paltz, New York, Multnomah County, Oregon, and Asbury Park, New Jersey also issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples.Officials in Benton County, Oregon were scheduled to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but reneged after the state's Attorney General said the county clerk would be arrested if any such licenses were issued.
Dorothy Louise Taliaferro "Del" Martin and Phyllis Ann Lyon were an American lesbian couple known as feminist and gay-rights activists.
Same-sex marriage in the United States expanded from one state in 2004 to all fifty states in 2015 through various state court rulings, state legislation, direct popular votes, and federal court rulings. Same-sex marriage is also referred to as gay marriage, while the political status in which the marriages of same-sex couples and the marriages of opposite-sex couples are recognized as equal by the law is referred to as marriage equality. The fifty states each have separate marriage laws, which must adhere to rulings by the Supreme Court of the United States that recognize marriage as a fundamental right that is guaranteed by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, as first established in the 1967 landmark civil rights case of Loving v. Virginia.
This is a list of notable events in the history of LGBT rights that took place in the year 2004.
National Freedom to Marry Day is a non-official United States holiday held annually on February 12 to promote same-sex marriage. The holiday was founded in 1999 by Lambda Legal, a gay rights advocacy law firm based out of Washington, DC.
Same-sex marriage is legal in the U.S. state of California, and first became so on June 16, 2008, when the state began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as the result of the Supreme Court of California ruling in In re Marriage Cases, which found that barring same-sex couples from marriage violated the state's Constitution. The issuance of those licenses was halted during the period of November 5, 2008 through June 27, 2013 due to the passage of Proposition 8—a state constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriages. The granting of same-sex marriages recommenced following the United States Supreme Court decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry, which restored the effect of a federal district court ruling that overturned Proposition 8 as unconstitutional.
Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in the U.S. state of New York since July 24, 2011, under the Marriage Equality Act, which was passed by the New York State Legislature on June 24, 2011 and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on the same day. The Marriage Equality Act does not have a residency restriction, as some other states do, and allows religious organizations to decline to officiate same-sex wedding ceremonies.
Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in the U.S. state of Wisconsin since October 6, 2014, upon the resolution of a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage. On October 6, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of an appellate court ruling in Wolf v. Walker that had found Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. The appellate court issued its order prohibiting enforcement of the state's ban on same-sex marriage the next day and Wisconsin counties began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately.
Same-sex marriage became legally recognized statewide in the U.S. state of New Mexico through a ruling by the New Mexico Supreme Court on December 19, 2013, requiring all county clerks to issue marriage licenses to qualified couples seeking marriage regardless of gender. Until then, same-sex couples could only obtain marriage licenses in certain counties of the state. Eight of the 33 counties, covering 58% of the state's population, had begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in August and September 2013. New Mexico's marriage statute is not specific as to gender. It is the only state lacking a state statute or constitutional provision explicitly addressing same-sex marriage. Lacking a state law or judicial ruling concerning same-sex marriage prior to December 19, 2013, policy for the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples was determined at the county level at the discretion of local issuing authorities i.e., some counties recognized same-sex marriage and issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples, while others did not. Despite the ruling by the New Mexico Supreme Court allowing same-sex marriages in the state, some of New Mexico's Native American tribes continue to prohibit same-sex marriages within their jurisdictions and do not recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.
Proposition 8, known informally as Prop 8, was a California ballot proposition and a state constitutional amendment passed in the November 2008 California state elections. The proposition was created by opponents of same-sex marriage in advance of the California Supreme Court's May 2008 appeal ruling, In re Marriage Cases, which followed the short-lived 2004 same-sex weddings controversy and found the previous ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Proposition 8 was ultimately ruled unconstitutional by a federal court in 2010, although the court decision did not go into effect until June 26, 2013, following the conclusion of proponents' appeals.
The Mayoralty of Gavin Newsom began when Democrat Gavin Newsom was elected Mayor of San Francisco in 2003, succeeding Willie Brown and becoming San Francisco's youngest mayor in a century.
Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in Utah since December 20, 2013, when the state began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as the result of Judge Robert J. Shelby of the U.S. District Court for Utah ruling in the case of Kitchen v. Herbert, which found that barring same-sex couples from marriage violated the U.S. Constitution. The issuance of those licenses was halted during the period of January 6, 2014 until October 6, 2014, following the resolution of a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage. On that day, following the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to hear an appeal in a case that found Utah's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the state to recognize same-sex marriage.
Hollingsworth v. Perry were a series of United States federal court cases that legalized same-sex marriage in the State of California. The case began in 2009 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, which found that banning same-sex marriage violates equal protection under the law. This decision overturned ballot initiative Proposition 8, which had banned same-sex marriage. After the State of California refused to defend Proposition 8, the official sponsors of Proposition 8 intervened and appealed to the Supreme Court. The case was litigated during the governorships of both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown, and was thus known as Perry v. Schwarzenegger and Perry v. Brown, respectively. As Hollingsworth v. Perry, it eventually reached the United States Supreme Court, which held that, in line with prior precedent, the official sponsors of a ballot initiative measure did not have Article III standing to appeal an adverse federal court ruling when the state refused to do so.
This page contains a timeline of significant events regarding same-sex marriage in the United States. On June 26, 2015, the landmark US Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges effectively ended restrictions on same-sex marriage in the United States.
Same-sex marriage is legal in the U.S. state of South Dakota. The United States Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015, that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Attorney General Marty Jackley issued a statement critical of the ruling but said South Dakota is obligated to comply with it.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in the U.S. state of Texas since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling of Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015.
Same-sex marriage in the U.S. state of Kentucky is legal under the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. The decision, which struck down Kentucky's statutory and constitutional bans on same-sex marriages, was handed down on June 26, 2015, and Governor Steve Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway announced almost immediately that the court's order would be implemented.
Same-sex marriage in Arkansas is legal under the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, a landmark case in which same-sex marriage bans were struck down on June 26, 2015. Prior to that, same-sex marriage in Arkansas was briefly legal for a period beginning on May 9, 2014, as the result of a ruling by Sixth Judicial Circuit Judge Chris Piazza, striking down the state's constitutional and legislative ban on same-sex marriage as violating the Constitution of the United States. Approximately 541 same-sex couples received marriage licenses in several Arkansas counties before the Arkansas Supreme Court stayed his ruling pending appeal on May 16, 2014.
The history of same-sex marriage in the United States dates from the early 1970s, when the first lawsuits seeking legal recognition of same-sex relationships brought the question of civil marriage rights and benefits for same-sex couples to public attention though they proved unsuccessful. The subject became increasingly prominent in U.S. politics following the 1993 Hawaii Supreme Court decision in Baehr v. Lewin that suggested the possibility that the state's prohibition might be unconstitutional. That decision was met by actions at both the federal and state level to restrict marriage to male-female couples, notably the enactment at the federal level of the Defense of Marriage Act.