The state's Supreme Court has ruled that California's ban on same-sex marriage is contrary to the state's constitution. What this means is that in about thirty days, city halls within California will begin to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
It also means, predictably, that conservatives of all stripes will be more motivated than normal to vote for the referendum already on the November ballot to amend the state's constitution. I'm not sure about the most recent referendum, but some of the most recent attempts have also sought to overturn California's current system of domestic partnership.
In California, domestic partnership is an almost marriage. It gives you most of the legal and (state-based) tax rights and responsibilities, without calling it marriage. Because I am a pessimist most of the time, I fear that we will end up not just without marriage but also without domestic partnership, an arrangement that was also to the benefit of older couples who may not have wanted to lose federal benefits by remarrying.
I am perfectly happy as a domestic partner; I think it perfectly well describes and fits the relationship I am in (and have been for the last 11.5 years), one in which no one is a husband or a wife, where two people are united in a home and a life and a life project, where two people have made a common life, but which is not much like a traditional marriage, and I think that I will probably end up losing that relationship either through referenda or through being made to marry.
I just heard on the radio that San Diego's gay and lesbian community was celebrating the decision. Some of us are not as sanguine.