Separate Is Not Equal

by Gavin Newsom

Four years ago, when Del Martin, Phyllis Lyon and more than 4,000 other couples said "I Do" this country took an irrevocable step toward securing equality for every American.

While many feel what we did was too much, too fast, too soon – we stand firm in the belief that our actions were not only just, but legal and constitutional. The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the pursuit of happiness.

Today, the California Supreme Court is hearing arguments on whether excluding gay couples from marriage violates the state constitution. Today, these Justices have a unique chance to follow in the proud tradition of California's high court, which took a courageous stand on marriage equality in 1948 when it ruled that the state's ban on inter-racial marriage was unconstitutional.