Mormon Inquiry

Mormon Inquiry

California Supreme Court upholds Prop 8; existing marriages still valid

posted by Dave Banack

As expected, the California Supreme Court upheld the propriety of Proposition 8’s amendment to the state constitution in an opinion released today, but left same-sex marriages performed since May 2008 in force. Here’s from the LA Times story:

The California Supreme Court today upheld Proposition 8’s ban on same-sex marriage but also ruled that gay couples who wed before the election will continue to be married under state law.

The decision virtually ensures another fight at the ballot box over marriage rights for gays. Gay rights activists say they may ask voters to repeal the marriage ban as early as next year, and opponents have pledged to fight any such effort. Proposition 8 passed with 52% of the vote.

In its coverage, the New York Times manages to screw things up in the first sentence — no wonder it is going out of business.

The California Supreme Court upheld a ban on same-sex marriage today, ratifying a decision made by voters last year that runs counter to a growing trend of states allowing the practice.

What is the trend in the various states? It is that the voters have in almost every instance rejected gay marriage statutes when given the opportunity to vote on them, but that some state high courts have judicially decreed that same-sex couples must be granted the ability to contract formal marriage within a given state. On both counts, California is following the national trend. The only difference is that in California, after the high court reversed an earlier rejection of same-sex marriage by the electorate, that same electorate was able to trump the court by directly amending the state constitution. For California to go “counter to a growing trend of states,” the voters would need to reverse course and approve gay marriage at the polls. That may happen, but it hasn’t yet.

Other posts on this topic.

Comments read comments(10)
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Mr. Incredible

posted May 26, 2009 at 6:09 pm

At least the Court didn’t compound the problem by reversing the vote.

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posted May 26, 2009 at 9:25 pm

The CA Supreme Court justices must have thought long and hard about what other initiative amendments couldn’t be approved in the future if they shot this one down.

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Chino Blanco

posted May 27, 2009 at 12:13 am

Interesting bit of news:
Ted Olson is apparently teaming up with David Boies at the newly-formed American Foundation for Equal Rights …

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posted May 27, 2009 at 7:10 pm

“Ted Olson is apparently teaming up with David Boies at the newly-formed American Foundation for Equal Rights …”
Yeah, because going to the federal level and the U.S. Supreme Court (whose overall political leaning is hardly likely to drift left in the coming 2-3 years) is such a winning proposition for gay rights advocates. The likely ruling against you at that level might set the movement back years.
State by state is the better course – and I say that as someone who’s hardly giddy at the prospect of SSM.

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Chino Blanco

posted May 28, 2009 at 2:44 am

Concern noted, dmt.
The actual filing can be read here:
Looks like a narrow enough challenge that I’m not sure what all the hand-wringing is about.

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posted May 28, 2009 at 7:20 am

Quite simply, you don’t want a ruling against you at the federal level.
Then again, a client of David Boies’s is about to get its trash thoroughly kicked by a client I’m working for, so I don’t mind his being distracted. :)

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Jodee Mays

posted May 28, 2009 at 10:27 am

Indeed, May was marked by marriage victories, as reported by MarriageNewsNow –

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Your Name

posted June 10, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Odd how many pleas we’re seeing for us to visit the [anti] marriage “news” site.
They must truly be desperate for clicks.
It’s such fun to see them self-immolate on their pyre of lies.
I wonder what group will be the next one to have their rights voted away? Hmm, I wonder if it could be, um, say – the Mormons?
Yeah, howzabout we all vote on your rights, hmmm? Think that would be just?

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Rick M

posted June 11, 2009 at 11:43 pm

California is a state that allows civil unions with all the same legal rights as marriages. I don’t see where there is any loss of rights.

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Your Name

posted June 23, 2009 at 4:02 pm

It’s at the federal level where there is a huge loss of rights – 1,176 of them.

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