Golden State Appeals Court Upholds Domestic Partner Ruling

April 6, 2005 ( - California state appeals judges have turned away a challenge to a recent ruling upholding the Golden State's expansion of domestic partnership rights.

The state 3rd District Court of Appeal unanimously rebuffed an appeal of the ruling by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Loren McMaster, according to a report in The Recorder.

Opponents of the domestic partnership law, which took effect in January, argued that it amended a 2000 voter initiative, in violation of the state Constitution. The initiative, Proposition 22, created a state law that says California recognizes marriages only between a man and a woman.

Attorney General Bill Lockyer and gay-rights proponents argued that voters didn’t intend to limit domestic partner rights when they passed the initiative. The 3rd District agreed.

Lawyers from two legal advocacy groups that argued against the new domestic partnership law – that gives domestic partners all the rights the state can grant that are normally associated with marriage – vowed to appeal Monday’s decision to the state Supreme Court.

On the other side, the attorney general called California’s domestic partnership law the most expansive one in the country. “Today’s decision . . . underscores the value that all Californians place on loving, committed relationships,” Lockyer said in a statement.

The ruling is Knight v. Schwarzenegger, 05 C.D.O.S. 2894.