A Different Kind of Blog

news and things sacred and irreverent put together by opinionated people.

same-sex marriage ban wins in california

Posted by dorian on May 26, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) — California’s highest court upheld a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages Tuesday but allowed about 18,000 unions performed before the ban to remain valid.

Proposition 8, which  bans same-sex marriage in California, faced a constitutionality test but was upheld.

Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage in California, faced a constitutionality test but was upheld.


Army National Guard Lt. Dan Choi joined the crowd protesting the court's ruling.

Supporters of the November ballot initiative Proposition 8 hailed the ruling, but about 1,000 advocates of same-sex marriages who gathered outside the court building in San Francisco met the 6-1 decision with chants of “Shame on you.”

“It’s nice that my marriage is still intact, but that’s not the point,” said Kathleen White, who married her partner in 2008. “The point is that everybody should have the same civil rights across the board.”

Proposition 8’s supporters argued that Californians have long had the right to change their state constitution through ballot initiatives. But opponents of the ban argued it improperly altered the state constitution to restrict a fundamental right guaranteed in the state’s charter.

Tuesday’s ruling found the proposition restricted the designation of marriage “while not otherwise affecting the fundamental constitutional rights of same-sex couples.” 

“We further conclude that Proposition 8 does not apply retroactively and therefore that the marriages of same-sex couples performed prior to the effective date of Proposition 8 remain valid,” California Chief Justice Ronald George wrote.

The court, which is dominated by Republican appointees, ruled in May 2008 that the state constitution guaranteed gay and lesbian couples the “basic civil right” to marry. That decision came four years after San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

But in November, state voters approved Proposition 8, 52 percent to 48 percent. The measure provided that only heterosexual unions would be recognized as marriages by the state.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Carlos Moreno wrote that the measure “violates the essence of the equal protection clause of the California Constitution and fundamentally alters its scope and meaning.” 

“The majority’s holding is not just a defeat for same-sex couples, but for any minority group that seeks the protection of the equal protection clause of the California Constitution,” wrote Moreno, the court’s only Democratic appointee.

The Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group that supported Proposition 8, argued in court papers that the effort to overturn the measure “strikes directly at the heart of California’s system of government.” Its president, Tony Perkins, hailed Monday’s ruling, but said the decision to preserve marriages performed before the ban could open the door for a possible appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“At every opportunity, the people of California have voted to protect marriage because they recognize the far-reaching consequences that redefining marriage will have for children, the family, religious liberties, businesses and every facet of American society,” Perkins said. “Today’s decision should encourage pro-family activists not only in California but across the country.”

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who opposed the initiative, praised the court for leaving the previous marriages intact and urged opponents of the decision to respond “peacefully and lawfully.”

“While I believe that one day either the people or courts will recognize gay marriage, as governor of California, I will uphold the decision of the California Supreme Court,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

It was unclear whether advocates have an avenue to appeal Tuesday’s ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court or would have to seek a new referendum to overturn Proposition 8. 

The state justices left unaddressed whether same-sex marriages performed in other states before the ban was adopted would be recognized in California, and advocates would have to argue that the measure violated their rights under the U.S. Constitution for the federal high court to take up the case.

Proposition 8’s approval sparked protests against and criticism of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which strongly supported the measure.

Opponents of the ban said the Utah-based church donated a majority of the money that funded the Proposition 8 campaign. But the Mormons said they were being unfairly singled out for criticism when other religious leaders — including Cardinal Roger Mahoney, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles — also supported the ban.

Four states — Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and Iowa — currently allow same-sex marriages. A Vermont law making such marriages legal will take effect in September. And the District of Columbia voted May 5 to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, though it does not itself give marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In April, New York Gov. David Paterson introduced legislation to make same-sex marriage legal in his state.

New Hampshire’s move to legalize same-sex marriage hit a road bump Wednesday after that state’s House of Representatives did not agree to legislation changes made by the governor.

Both New Hampshire’s House and its Senate already had approved allowing gay couples to marry. But Gov. John Lynch, a three-term Democrat, said he would sign a same-sex marriage bill only if it provides “the strongest and clearest protections for religious institutions and associations, and for the individuals working with such institutions.”

The House on Wednesday fell two votes short of approving Lynch’s language. The chamber then voted to send the legislation to a committee to be considered further.

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a clear case for the need of that wall separating church and state. thanks to the generous contribution of christian and mormon conservatives and the rest of the like-minded klan, this discriminatory ruling happened. can we all have one minute of silence and think of the world without gay people? listen up, missy california…this is shameful and sad.

the misdeed is done. laugh with me. we can debate later.






3 Responses to “same-sex marriage ban wins in california”

  1. princessxxx said

    right? can you imagine the world without gay people.

    like a day without sunshine.


  2. princessxxx said



  3. kay~ms said

    Sorry P, it won’t fit… maybe Dorian could step in and do the honors?


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