ANALYSIS – What the California decision means to you

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By a 4-3 vote of the state Supreme Court, California became the second state in which same-sex couples can enjoy the full rights and name of marriage. The Massachusetts opinion of 2003 came first, in which the state high court found that the exclusion of gays from marriage deprived them of both liberty and equality rights protected under the state constitution. The California Supreme Court came to the same conclusion, but in a way that has far greater social and political impact and much stricter legal definition.