352. On May 15, 2008, the California Supreme Court approved same‐sex marriages in the state of California. By a vote of 4 to 3, the court declared that limiting a marriage to a union between a man and a woman violated the state constitution.

The court's decision was a huge victory for gays and lesbians throughout the state. Hundreds waited outside the courthouse in Sacramento for the announcement, which they greeted with cheers, hugs, and kisses. TV crews interviewed joyful couples.

However, conservative opponents have vowed to fight the decision. They plan to gather over a million signatures for a constitutional amendment in November to overturn this decision. If California voters approve the amendment, lawyer Gloria Allred said, "I will take this case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Gays must be free to marry."

It was only 60 years ago that most states banned interracial marriages. However, in 1967 the U.S. Supreme Court ended those bans. Now the conflict is about sex instead of race. At present, only two states legally recognize same‐sex marriages—Massachusetts and California. Worldwide, only five countries legally recognize such marriages.

"California has joined the 21st century," said Elton John. "Now Cole Porter and I can finally get married in our favorite city, San Francisco."

"If we normal people don't vote for the amendment," said conservative George Smith, "God will surely destroy this entire state."

10.3, 44.8, 0%, 13.4, 228
Vocabulary: amendment announcement approve conservative* constitution* constitutional* court* courthouse declare destroy entire gather gay greet legally lesbian opponent overturn* recognize signature supreme union violate vow PLUS ban between case cheer Cole country crew decision don't Elton end favorite fight five Francisco free George get God however hug huge hundreds instead inter interracial John join joyful kiss man marriage million most must normal only people Porter present race same sex Smith state surely that throughout vote voter woman world worldwide  *not used in newXword

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