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Prop. 8: Gay marriages won’t resume immediately in California

February 7, 2012 | 11:26 am
Bob Sodervick demonstrates outside of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday in San Francisco

Proposition 8: Gay-marriage ban unconstitutional 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.

PHOTOS: Proposition 8 ruled unconstitutional

ProtectMarriage, the group that sponsored Proposition 8, said it will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

DOCUMENT: Read the court's decision

“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.

“We are not surprised that this Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage -- tried in San Francisco -- turned out this way,” said Brian Raum, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, a religious liberties group that helped form ProtectMarriage. “But we are confident that the expressed will of the American people in favor of marriage will be upheld at the Supreme Court.”


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.


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-- 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