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California gov will enforce Supreme Court ban on same-sex marriage

May 26, 2009 | 12:59 pm

(UPDATE: This item has been updated with additional reactions since its original posting.)

Speaking of courts,as you may have heard, California's top court in a lopsided 6-1 vote upheld Proposition 8's passage, effectively banning same-sex marriage.

The court's eagerly anticipated decision set off demonstrations in San Francisco, ignited a ton of public reaction and in California's ongoing experiment with direct democracy, could set off yet another proposition to overturn the initial proposition.

Prop. 8 was passed by voter initiative 52% 18 months ago but seemingly overturned by the appeals court last summer. Today's Supreme Court ruling unanimously said the 18,000 same-sex marriages that occurred in the interim remain valid.

The text of the full court decision is available here.

Count on detailed moment-by-moment coverage of this issue from our pals over at the LA Now blog.

For now, right here we have a sampling of reactions:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he would abide by the court ruling, but believed that same-sex marriage would eventually be approved. He said:

“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. Regarding the 18,000 marriages that took place prior to Proposition 8’s passage, the court made the right decision in keeping them intact. I also want to encourage all those responding to today’s court decision to do so peacefully and lawfully.” 

Rick Jacobs, chairman of the Courage Campaign: "I am disappointed the Court ruled to deny marriage equality to Californians. These are fundamental constitutional rights that cannot be ...

... abolished by a ballot initiative. While we were hoping the Court would rule in favor of equality, we have been building the infrastructure to win marriage equality rights at the ballot box. Our members are ready to do the hard work needed to win."

Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco denounced the court and its decision. "They really seemed to have abandoned all moral compass around this issue," said Ammiano, who is gay. "Politically, I have hope. Personally, I am very distressed. I don’t like being a second-class citizen."

Sen. Mark Leno, another San Francisco Democrat, also gay, called the decision a painful moment. "The California Supreme Court is retreating to the dark and discriminatory days of the 20th century," Leno said. "This is a great stain on this court, and it is a decision that history will not look kindly on." He predicted the issue will be back on the ballot next year, "and we will prevail.’’

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: "Today's ruling by the Supreme Court in support of Proposition 8 is deeply disappointing because this ballot initiative takes away individual rights. I have long fought for equality for all of California's families and will strongly support efforts to restore marriage equality in California, so it can join the ranks of states such as Iowa and Vermont.”

Leonard Lanzi, president of California Log Cabin Republicans:

"While we were defeated in this ballot initiative, our cause is right and just. We will continue to work with our allies in the Republican Party and across the political spectrum in California to educate voters that marriage equality is truly a conservative value, along the lines of strengthening individual freedoms, limiting the role of government in our daily lives and preserving personal responsibility.":

In other court news, someone named O.J. Simpson is trying to overturn his criminal conviction in Nevada.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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