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

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