Flickr user JeffBelmonte / Creative Commons

Pssst. Wanna know a secret?

I’m going to let you in on confidential marriage, an only-in-California concoction that is little known but deeply relevant to today’s debates about marriage.

Confidential marriage is in most respects the same as any old legal marriage—solemnized and binding. But confidential marriage licenses, unlike the regular marriage licenses, are not part of the public record. And confidential marriage is limited to couples who are already living together (although no proof of cohabitation is required).

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

He’s not only from California.  Justice Anthony Kennedy’s U.S. Supreme Court rulings – past and future – are felt in California.  He wrote the ruling in a case involving the state’s overcrowded prisons, and many observers feel the fate of Proposition 8 is in his hands.  

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

The speaker of the California Assembly has filed a legal brief with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the justices to overturn the state’s constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage.

In his friend-of-the-court brief known as an “amicus” brief, Speaker John Pérez  argues voter-approved Proposition 8 prevents him from passing bills at the State Capitol.

“Proposition 8 clearly inhibits my legislative role, preventing me and my peers from moving forward legislation on marriage equality – although clearly, we would like to do so if we were allowed.”