LOS ANGELES, May 15 LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire Service — Today, the California Supreme Court, ruled in favor of same-sex couples who want to get married.
The Court also ruled that marriages performed outside California must be
recognized as legal by the State of California.
On February 24, 2004, Robin Tyler and Diane Olson, and Rev. Troy Perry and his husband, Phillip Ray De Blieck, became the first two couples in California to file a lawsuit (Tyler vs County of Los Angeles) challenging the constitutionality of the ban on same gender marriages after they were denied marriage licenses in Beverly Hills, CA.
Attorney Gloria Allred and the firm of Allred, Maroko and Goldberg
represented the couples pro bono.
Robin and Diane have been together 16 years. Diane Olson’s grandfather
was the first elected Democratic Governor of California. “My grandfather
would be proud of me today,” says Diane. “He would have approved of my
being able to marry the person I have lived with and loved for over 14
“Although the media believes that this lawsuit was started in San
Francisco,” says Robin Tyler, Executive Director of the Equality Campaign, “the fact is that the four of us, Diane and I and Troy and Phillip were the first 2 couples to file a lawsuit seeking marriage equality in California.”
“Diane and I have joined Rev. Perry and Phillip at the Beverly Hills
Courthouse every year since 2001 to apply for a marriage license, only to
be refused. Everything changed, however, when in 2004, we brought one of
the best civil rights attorneys in the country with us. When we were denied our licenses at 9AM on Feb. 12, 2004, at the Beverly Hills Courthouse, our attorney, Gloria Allred, standing with us, announced that we would be filing a lawsuit challenging the marriage ban in California.
“We thank God that our marriage in Canada has been recognized,” says
Rev. Perry. “This is a battle our church, the Metropolitan Community
Churches, which I founded, has fought since 1969.” Phillip added, “When I
married Troy in Toronto, on July, 16, 2003, after 18 years together, it
meant more then I could possibly say.”
“The California Supreme Court made a courageous and correct decision in ruling for our plaintiffs,” said Gloria Allred. “Granting same-gender
couples the right to marry in California, means that they will now enjoy
full equality under the law. Domestic partnership was separate but not
equal. This court continued its tradition of protecting fundamental rights regardless of whether the decision is popular. The framework of our society
will not fall apart because this court afforded same-gender couples the
dignity and rights that they deserve.”