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***Love is in the air ***  Gay marriage finally validated in California  In a monumental victory for the gay rights movement, find purim online the California Supreme Court overturned a voter-approved ban on gay marriage Thursday in a ruling that would allow same-sex couples in the nation's biggest state to tie the knot. Domestic partnerships are not a good enough substitute for marriage, find purim online the justices ruled 4-3 in striking down the ban. Outside the courthouse, find purim online gay marriage supporters cried and cheered as the news spread. Jeanie Rizzo, find purim online one of the plaintiffs, find purim online called Pali Cooper, find purim online her partner of 19 years, find purim online and asked, find purim online "Pali, find purim online will you marry me?" "This is a very historic day. Find purim online This is just such freedom for us, find purim online" Rizzo said. Find purim online "This is a message that says all of us are entitled to human dignity." In the Castro, find purim online historically a center of the gay community in San Francisco, find purim online Tim Oviatt started crying while watching the news on TV. "I've been waiting for this all my life, find purim online" he said. Find purim online "This is a life-affirming moment." The city of San Francisco, find purim online two dozen gay and lesbian couples and gay rights groups sued in March 2004 after the court halted the monthlong wedding march that took place when Mayor Gavin Newsom opened the doors of City Hall to same-sex marriages. "Today the California Supreme Court took a giant leap to ensure that everybody — not just in the state of California, find purim online but throughout the country — will have equal treatment under the law, find purim online" said City Attorney Dennis Herrera, find purim online who argued the case for San Francisco. The challenge for gay rights advocates, find purim online however, find purim online is not over. A coalition of religious and social conservative groups is attempting to put a measure on the November ballot that would enshrine laws banning gay marriage in the state constitution. The Secretary of State is expected to rule by the end of June whether the sponsors gathered enough signatures to qualify the marriage amendment, find purim online similar to ones enacted in 26 other states. If voters pass the measure in November, find purim online it would trump the court's decision. California already offers same-sex couples who register as domestic partners the same legal rights and responsibilities as married spouses, find purim online including the right to divorce and to sue for child support. But, find purim online "Our state now recognizes that an individual's capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual's sexual orientation, find purim online" Chief Justice Ron George wrote for the court's majority, find purim online which also included Justices Joyce Kennard, find purim online Kathryn Werdegar and Carlos Moreno. In a dissenting opinion, find purim online Justice Marvin Baxter agreed with many arguments of the majority but said the court overstepped its authority. Find purim online Changes to marriage laws should be decided by the voters, find purim online Baxter wrote. Find purim online Justices Ming Chin and Carol Corrigan also dissented. The conservative Alliance Defense Fund says it plans to ask the justices for a stay of their decision until after the fall election, find purim online said Glen Lavey, find purim online senior counsel for the group. Gov. Find purim online Arnold Schwarzenegger, find purim online who has twice vetoed legislation that would've granted marriage rights to same-sex couples, find purim online said in a news release that he respected the court's decision and "will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling." The last time California voters were asked to express their views on gay marriage at the ballot box was in 2000, find purim online the year after the Legislature enacted the first of a series of laws awarding spousal rights to domestic partners. Proposition 22, find purim online which strengthened the state's 1978 one-man, find purim online one-woman marriage law with the words "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California, find purim online" passed with 61 percent of the vote. The Supreme Court struck down both statutes with its sweeping opinion Thursday. Lawyers for the gay couples had asked the court to overturn the laws as an unconstitutional civil rights violation that domestic partnerships cannot repair. Find purim online A trial court judge in San Francisco agreed with gay rights advocates and voided the state's marriage laws in April 2005. Find purim online A midlevel appeals court overturned his decision in October 2006. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2008/05/14/state/n111151D62.DTL