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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ronald George, California Supreme Court Justice Who Legalized Gay Marriage, to Retire

Posted By on Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 3:05 PM

click to enlarge Justice Ron George
  • Justice Ron George
California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George, who authored the opinion in the 2008 ruling that resulted in the short-lived legalization of same-sex marriage, has announced that he plans to step down at the end of this year.

In a statement posted on the Supreme Court's website, George states that after 38 years as a judge -- including 19 on the Supreme Court -- he hopes at the age of 70 "to leave while the proverbial music still plays, and return to private life."

George's eloquent 2008 written ruling in the Supreme Court's 4-3 decision on gay marriage came as a surprise from a justice, appointed by Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, who led a court dominated by conservatives.

"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," George wrote in the decision.

However, George went on to vote with the 6-1 majority that upheld Proposition 8, the ballot initiative -- launched in response to the high court's ruling -- that banned same-sex marriage in 2008.

Calitics has more on the political process and potential implications of picking George's successor.

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