California Proposition 8

ballot proposition and state constitutional amendment passed in November 2008

Proposition 8 is an initiative passed in California on November 4, 2008 that banned same-sex marriage. The measure passed by 52% to 48%. It changed California's Constitution by adding a section that says, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."[1] The law was in response to a judge's ruling that gay marriage was legal under the California state Constitution. The campaign to pass Proposition 8 was mostly paid for by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Proposition 8 is controversial and is being debated in court. On August 4, 2010, Judge Vaughn Walker in the United States District Court made a ruling that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional and should be overturned. This would make same-sex marriage legal again in California, however, Judge Walker issued a stay of execution, so that those in favor of Proposition 8 could legal appeal.

The appeal of the case went to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. On February 7, 2012, the judges in this court agreed with Judge Walker that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional. However they also issued a stay of execution, so that their ruling could be appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Those in favor of Proposition 8 appealed to the Supreme Court on July 30, 2012. On December 7, 2012, the Supreme Court agreed to judge the case. The Supreme Court will issue a final ruling on the case in 2013.

There are several possible outcomes:

  • The Supreme Court could agree with the lower courts, which would force Proposition 8 to be cancelled and would allow same-sex marriage to resume in California.
  • The Court could also disagree with the lower courts, in which case Proposition 8 would remain law.
  • The Court could rule that the supporters of Proposition 8 didn't have the right to bring the case to the Supreme Court, in which case the lower court ruling would stand, and Proposition 8 would also be overturned.

Depending on exactly how the Supreme Court rules, Proposition 8 could be overturned in California only, or all other laws against same-sex marriage in the United States could be overturned as well.

References Edit

  1. Hennessy-Fiske, Molly. "Opponents of gay marriage see hope in ballot measure". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2009-03-21. Retrieved 2009-03-24.