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Now that 2012 is nearly over, the National Law Journal has rounded up the best legal quotes of the year.One of the wittiest came from the Ninth Circuit appeals court in its colourful opinion overturning California’s ban on gay marriage.
Had Marilyn Monroe’s film been called ‘How to Register a Domestic Partnership with a Millionaire,’ it would not have conveyed the same meaning.
The “domestic partnership” the quote refers to is the alternative to marriage offered to same-sex couples in some states. And the movie the opinion cites is Monroe’s iconic “How to Marry a Millionaire.”
While the Marilyn line seems to be the money quote, Reuters reported back in February that the Ninth Circuit justices also mentioned Jumbotrons and Frank Sinatra in the opinion doing away with Proposition 8.
The opinion also cited Abe Lincoln, Groucho Marx, and William Shakespeare in a single paragraph, Reuters noted:
Groucho Marx’s one-liner, ‘Marriage is a wonderful institution … but who wants to live in an institution?’ would lack its punch if the word ‘marriage’ were replaced with the alternative phrase. So too with Shakespeare’s ‘A young man married is a man that’s marr’d,’ Lincoln’s ‘Marriage is neither heaven nor hell, it is simply purgatory,’ and Sinatra’s ‘A man doesn’t know what happiness is until he’s married. By then it’s too late.’