Prop 8 Explained: What the Supreme Court's Ruling Means for Marriage Equality

prop 8 protest sacramentoIt's a glorious, justice-filled day in America today, thanks to the Supreme Court's historic move to declare the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. Now, the federal government can no longer deny gay couples the rights of straight ones. Thank. Goodness. The court also made a move on a case involving California's Proposition 8, which passed in 2008 and defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

Basically, the SCOTUS declined to rule on the constitutionality of Prop 8 and dismissed the case on procedural grounds, saying that both they and a federal appeals court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. The court held that lawyers for Prop 8 supporters -- who were defending the ballot initiative, because California officials refused to -- did not have the legal right to be in court. Still, no matter, because the upshot was beneficial same-sex couples ...

The dismissal of the Prop 8 case means that a (lower) federal district court's ruling, which struck down Prop 8, stands. The bottom-line: "Every county in the state of California must now recognize the right of same-sex couple to legally marry," according to California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who issued a legal letter to California's Govornor Jerry Brown declaring that the state "can and should instruct county officials that when the district court's injunction goes into effect, they must resume issuing marriage licenses to and recording the marriages of same-sex couples.”

Harris says that marriages will resume in the state as soon as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifts its stay on an earlier ruling overturning the proposition that banned gay marriage. Once that annoying red tape is all cut through -- hopefully "immediately," per Harris' urging, as opposed to the standard 25-day waiting period -- then, as the California Attorney General put it, "Wedding bells will ring!" Hooray!!!

How do you feel about Prop 8?


Image via ProComKelly/Flickr

marriage equality


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Choco... Chocodoxies

This is a day I will remember for the rest of my life. The day that the oppression of a whole group of people came to an end in one very big way. Finally, the future I have hoped for has been realized. I will be given the opportunity to watch as my children grow up in a world that recognizes love between two people and not just the sexual organs of those people. This is a beautiful day. 

LadyM... LadyMinni

This is a tricky thing. I am 100% in support of marriage equality and I love that the DOMA is gone. However, I do not like the fact that the federal court can go in and undo the decision of the people. Prop 8 was a ballot decision, so the majority of people who voted supported it. I may not like what it stands for, but I think it is a dangerous precedent to set that the feds can directly undo a decision by the people. We are a representative democracy and the first benchmark of a democracy is popular sovereignty: the government must ultimately bow to the will of the people. That isn't happening here.

Maybe it's for the best this time, but what about next time?

Choco... Chocodoxies

LadyMinni: I am in California. That Prop never should have been on the ballot because it was unconstitutional, which is what this is all about. There was once another fight for individual states rights that made headlines. The people of the states voted in favor of slavery. Clearly the government needs to step in when the wants of the people conflict directly with the constitution. 

LadyM... LadyMinni

I don't get when people say it's "unconstitutional." More like "un-Bill-of-Rights-al." Slavery is actually legal under the Constitution -there are three different areas allowing it. It was the Bill of Rights (Amendment 13) that made slavery illegal. Also, no one ever cast a popular ballot on slavery. Slavery was one of the primary states' rights issues that led to secession and the misnamed Civil War, but there was no vote. PoliSci lesson of the day. (Sorry, future professor here. It's an illness.)

I agree, Prop 8 is wrong and is quite... un-Bill-of-Rights-al. I'm just worried about the precedent this might set for the future, when the feds can overturn not the states, but the people. The Constitution and Bill of Rights are open to interpretation and can be interpreted differently by every single court in America. What about the next time the people have a vote and the feds don't like it? Can they overturn it with some esoteric interpretation of our rights and freedoms?

I just don't trust the government. It may never happen, or it may happen tomorrow. I'm wary of it. But this time it is a good thing, so perhaps I should stop worrying and enjoy it.

Brain... BrainyMommy

I'm glad to see Prop 8 go. Good riddance.

bleed... bleedingheart8D

Straight marriage does not need defending by the goverment. It's between the two people married to defend it. 

nonmember avatar FM

Marriage is between a Man & a WOMAN. PERIOD. NOT two men or two women. Yes I believe in God's word

Choco... Chocodoxies

FM: That is YOUR God, and not everyone believes in YOUR God. You do not have the right to force your religion on those of others religions. 

Momin... MominAL485

@FM--I agree that is YOUR GOD not mine. One person's religious beliefs should not be forced on someone else. We were all made different for a reason. People like you are who I was raised to term as BIGOTS.

That said..YAY!!! It's about time and a day to celebrate!!

1-10 of 11 comments 12 Last