Our Hero: Chief Justice Ronald George
The Los Angeles Times has published an interview with California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald M. George, the man who wrote the ruling overturning that state's ban on gay marriage.
In the days leading up to the California Supreme Court's historic same-sex marriage ruling Thursday, the decision "weighed most heavily" on Chief Justice Ronald M. George -- more so, he said, than any previous case in his nearly 17 years on the court.Under court rules, George is not allowed to comment specifically on the ruling until it takes effect in 30 days or so, but he does give some insight into into his thought process and reveals that he consider the fight for gay marriage to be akin to the fight to repeal interracial marriage laws.
The court was poised 4 to 3 not only to legalize same-sex marriage but also to extend to sexual orientation the same broad protections against bias previously saved for race, gender and religion. The decision went further than any other state high court's and would stun legal scholars, who have long characterized George and his court as cautious and middle of the road.
But as he read the legal arguments, the 68-year-old moderate Republican was drawn by memory to a long ago trip he made with his European immigrant parents through the American South. There, the signs warning "No Negro" or "No colored" left "quite an indelible impression on me," he recalled in a wide-ranging interview Friday. "I think," he concluded, "there are times when doing the right thing means not playing it safe."