Consent; issuance of license and solemnization
Marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between a man and a woman, to which the consent of the parties capable of making that contract is necessary. Consent alone does not constitute marriage. Consent must be followed by the issuance of a license and solemnization as authorized by this division, except as provided by Section 425 and Part 4 (commencing with Section 500).
(California Family Code Section 300)
Adults capability to consent to and consummate marriage
An unmarried male of the age of 18 years or older, and an unmarried female of the age of 18 years or older, and not otherwise disqualified, are capable of consenting to and consummating marriage.
(California Family Code Section 301)
Between man and woman only
Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
(Section 308.5) (Proposition 22)
Marriage Cases Coordinated, No. 4365
Six cases have been titled the”Marriage Cases” and are part of a coordinated proceeding in San Francisco Superior Court. All of these cases are seeking a determination as to the constitutionality of California’s marriage statutes. Two cases, Thomasson and Proposition 22 Legal Defense &Education Fund, seek a declaration that the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman is constitutional. The remaining four cases seek to have that definition declared in violation of the California constitution.
Thomasson v. Newsom, Case No. CGC 04-428794, consolidated with Proposition 22 Legal Defense & Education Fund v. City and County of San Francisco, Case No. CPF 04-503943
Tyler v. County of Los Angeles, Case No. BS 088506
Clinton v. State, Case No. CGC 04-429548
The California legislature passed AB 205 (The Domestic Partners Rights and Responsibilities Act), which grants the “same rights, protections, and benefits” of marriage to “registered domestic partners.” Proposition 22, a voter approved initiative, prohibits recognition of same sex marriage. This suit alleges AB 205 violates Prop. 22.
Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund and Values Advocacy Council v. Gonzales, Case No. 1-04-CV-019549
Soon after San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Los Angeles announced that it would recognize same-sex “marriages” of its employees. This lawsuit challenges that decision on the ground that it is beyond the City’s authority.
When the San Francisco Superior Court declined to order San Francisco to cease issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples (Thomasson and Proposition 22above), several private plaintiffs, followed by the California Attorney General, filed mandamus actions in the California Supreme Court. The Court issued an immediate stay on March 11, 2004. On August 12, 2004, the Court ruled that the City, Mayor, and Clerk exceeded their authority in deciding to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Court also ruled that the marriage licenses issued are invalid.
See also: Smelt v. Orange County, (A Ninth Circuit case challenging California’s marriage statutes).