Prop. 8: Gay marriages won’t resume immediately in California
Gay marriages will not immediately resume in California, despite a federal appeals court decision ruling unconstitutional the Proposition 8 ban on same-sex weddings.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals left in place a stay on the ruling, which had been issued by a lower federal court, to prevent the resumption of same-sex marriages as the case works its way through the appeals process.
ProtectMarriage, the group that sponsored Proposition 8, said it will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California,” the court said.
Supporters of Proposition 8 blamed “Hollywood-orchestrated attacks” for the appeals court defeat.
The 2-1 decision by a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the voters, in approving Proposition 8 in 2008, unfairly took away a right from a minority group.
"The people may not employ the initiative power to single out a disfavored group for unequal treatment and strip them, without a legitimate justification, of a right as important as the right to marry," the panel majority said.
Santa Clara University constitutional law professor Margaret M. Russell said the ruling overturned Proposition 8 on “the narrowest grounds possible,” which makes it less likely that the U.S. Supreme Court would review it.
“It is very much anchored in the role of Proposition 8 in California’s history,” the professor said, adding that it would have little effect outside of California.
In West Hollywood, Mayor Pro Tempore Jeffrey Prang, who married during the few months when same-sex marriages were legal in California, praised the decision.
"As one of those 18,000 couples who were married in 2008, I can say personally that today's decision is a huge relief for my husband and I. It means our marriage is intact," he said.
-- Maura Dolan in San Francisco and Hailey Branson-Potts in West Hollywood
Photo: Bob Sodervick demonstrates outside of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday in San Francisco. Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images