Gay Marriage Cases in State Courts — Earlier Decisions

For those wanting to compare the analysis in the forthcoming California Supreme Court decision with the approach taken by other state high courts, the following are some of the decisions from those courts on this issue:

Baker v. Nelson, 191 NW 2d 185 (1971) — The Minnesota Supreme Court rejected a federal constitutional challenge to the state law that did not authorize marriage between same-sex couples.

Baehr v. Lewin, 852 P.2d 44 (1993) — The Hawai’i Supreme Court that although same-sex marriage was not a “fundamental right” under the Hawai’i Constitution, a statute that precluded same-sex marriage was a classification based on sex that warranted strict scrutiny.

Dean v. District of Columbia, 653 A.2d 307 (1995) — The District of Columbia Court of Appeals rejected a federal constitutional challenge to statute prohibiting the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

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