In another blow for same-sex marriage advocates, the oral arguments before the California Supreme Court yesterday indicated that the majority will uphold controversial Proposition 8 and its ban on same-sex marriage.
Two justices who previously voted in favor of same-sex marriage under the state constitution indicated that they would reluctantly vote to uphold the new law. Chief Justice Ronald George and Justice Joyce Kennard, who were part of the 4-3 majority that vote for same-sex marriage in 2008, stated that they would have to yield to the will of the people. Kennard stated “Our task is quite limited. The people are those who have created the Constitution and what you are overlooking is the people’s broad power to amend the Constitution.”
The decision is likely to spur similar legislation in other states and may reduce the calls for a U.S. constitutional amendment. In the meantime, it is not clear what will happen to all of the couples who were married during the period between the two rulings. This could make for some interesting fights and a U.S. Supreme Court challenge. Those couples have already been married and have a claim to that prior status that would raise viable federal questions — even if it did not raise the core equal protection issue of same-sex marriage generally.
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