Decision is unlikely to sway other states

| May 16, 2008

"As goes California, so goes the nation," Mayor Gavin Newsom said to hundreds inside City Hall celebrating after the state’s highest court overturned the ban on gay marriage.

While California is often a trendsetter, Thursday’s ruling has little legal authority in other states.

George Washington University constitutional law professor JonathanTurley said that although the decision wouldn’t likely "cross state lines," he expects the decision to rekindle the debate on a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages. He said it may also embolden some to file similar lawsuits in other states.

"Today’s decision is going to create a firestorm both legally and politically in the country," Turley said.

University of Michigan law professor Doug Laycock said he didn’t think the legal ruling would have much influence on other state courts.

Thursday’s ruling makes California the second state in the nation to permit same-sex marriage, following Massachusetts.

There are 26 states where voters have already approved constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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