Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



This chapter will appear in the book, Women and the Law Stories, to be published by Foundation Press (Elizabeth Schneider and Stephanie Wildman, eds.) in fall 2010. The chapter provides historical context for the groundbreaking decision in In re Marriage Cases, which, for a time at least, provided marriage equality for same-sex couples in the State of California. The authors discuss the development of the state constitution, the extension of its equality provisions to protect women, the California Supreme Court’s historic ruling in 1948 that extended marriage equality to interracial couples, and the state’s unique history in the advancement of lesbian and gay rights. Woven throughout the chapter are the stories of couples who fought for the right to marry the person of their choice. The story ends, however, with the acknowledgment that the passage of Proposition 8 created a stark Pirandello-like absurdity of having something that was real in one moment appear to dissolve in the next moment. The chapter closes with the observation that the true ending of the story of marriage equality in California is not yet known.

Included in

Law Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.