The short answer is — probably not. The Supreme Court of the United States, by a 5-4 vote, issued two landmark rulings on Thursday with respect to same sex marriages. The net effect is that in California, same sex marriages are once again legal. Stated differently, same sex couples are once again allowed to marry.
Yesterday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, reacting to the Supreme Court ruling, ended the stay (i.e., “hold”) it had placed on a lower court’s ruling that Proposition 8 violated the United States Constitution. In other words, the original court ruling is once again in effect and Proposition 8, passed by the voters of California in November, 2008, is not valid.
As a result, the California Department of Public Health yesterday notified clerks and registrars/recorders in all 58 California counties that same-sex marriage is now legal in California and that marriage licenses must be issued to same-sex couples immediately. Also, parties to a State Registered Domestic Partnership must be issued marriage licenses if they are not already married to one another in another state. Finally, same-sex couples legally married in another state will be considered already legally married under California marriage licensing and certification laws. They will not need a marriage license; they are already married and the California Family Code only allows unmarried persons to marry in California.
People running into red tape or other problems may contact the Birth and Marriage Registration Section of the California Department of Public Health at 916-445-8494.