Claudia Leisinger - Photography

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The Big Issue

"Separate is not equal ": Same-sex couples on Proposition 8.

On May 15th 2008 the California Supreme Court declared that gay and lesbians were a minority group and would therefore be entitled to the same legal rights to marriage as heterosexuals. That made California the second US state after Massachusetts to allow and recognize homosexual marriages.

18 000 same-sex couples married between June and November 4th 2008 when Proposition 8, an initiative outlawing gay marriage and supported by, amongst others, the Roman Catholic and Mormon Churches, passed with a small majority (52,3 % vs. 47,7 %). Proposition 8 changed the California legislation to only recognize marriage as a term to be used for heterosexual unions.

What happend to the 18 000 already married couples? Here are six of them to speak for themsleves.

Published in The Big Issue, June 2009.

Copyright: Claudia Leisinger

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