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California Court's Judicial Activism Threatens the Institution of Marriage

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Publication Date: May 2008

Publisher(s): Heritage Foundation (Washington, D.C.)

Author(s): Matthew Spalding; Daniel Patrick Moloney; Jennifer A. Marshall

Series: WebMemo

Topic: Social conditions (Marriage and family life)

Keywords: gay marriage; Family; same-sex marriage; Judicial activism

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States


On May 15, 2008, the California Supreme Court overturned California voters' 61 percent majority, expressed in 2000's Proposition 22, in favor of affirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The California court's decision is the latest in a series of judicial and legislative efforts to institutionalize a social experiment in its early stages by elevating it in law to the status of the oldest of institutions: marriage.