The state Supreme Court decided that Prop. 8 supporters had legal standing, so the 9th Circuit moved ahead with its consideration of the case, hearing more arguments on a motion by Prop. 8 backers asking that Walker’s ruling be thrown out because the judge was in a long-term same-sex relationship that he had not disclosed.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that the proposition’s primary impact was to “lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California.”
“It stripped same-sex couples of the ability they previously possessed to obtain and use the designation of `marriage’ to describe their relationships,” according to the court’s decision.
“Nothing more, nothing less. Proposition 8 therefore could not have been enacted to advance California’s interests in child-rearing or responsible procreation, for it had no effect on the rights of same-sex couples to raise children or on the procreative practices of other couples.
“Nor did Proposition 8 have any effect on religious freedom or on parents’ rights to control their children’s education; it could not have been enacted to safeguard those liberties.”
That ruling led to the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
On its website, officials with ProtectMarriage.com, said they would continue defending Proposition 8 and noted that they were “pleased” the Supreme Court effectively overturned the 9th Circuit ruling overturning the measure.
“For the more than 7 million Californians who have seen their vote stripped away from them, little by little, over the course of five years, that decision is gratifying,” according to the group. “While it is unfortunate that the court’s ruling does not directly resolve questions about the scope of the trial court’s order against Prop. 8, we will continue to defend Prop. 8 and seek its enforcement until such time as there is a binding statewide order that redners Prop 8 unenforceable.”
Here are some statements issued by local officials in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings on Proposition 8 and Defense of Marriage Act.
• Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: “Today we have taken another momentous step on the path to full equality and dignity for all Californians and all Americans. By striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, the Supreme Court has affirmed a basic American truth: bigotry and bias have no place in our laws. And with the court’s decision on Prop. 8, California is poised to become the 13th state in America with full marriage equality. . . .”
• Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster: “Today is a monumental day that will change, for the better, the lives of friends and families throughout our great state and makes our nation stronger.”
• Rep. Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles: “Today marks a watershed moment in the fight for marriage equality for LGBT Americans. The Supreme Court’s rulings bring the nation and California one step closer to realizing our Constitution’s promise of equality for all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation. For California, thousands of LGBT couples will now receive the recognition and protections afforded to any other family under the law and will no longer be treated as second-class citizens.”
• Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.: “I was proud to have voted against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, and it is so heartening to see that the federal government will now treat all marriages equally. (And) because of the court’s ruling on Proposition 8, millions of Californians will be able to marry the person they love -- with all the rights and responsibilities that go along with it.”