Supreme Court to Review Prop. 8

The highest court will examine the constitutionality of the gay marriage law.

Bloomberg News is reporting that the US Supreme Court will examine California's gay marriage law to see if the 14th Amendment bars the state from defining marriage in a traditional way.

The SCOTUS Blog posted this update Friday afternoon via CoveritLive:

“Prop. 8 is granted on the petition question -- whether 14th Am. bars Calif. from defining marriage in traditional way. Plus an added question: Whether the backers of Prop.. 8 have standing in the case under Art. III.”

In 2008, 52 percent of California voters approved Proposition 8. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the law in February, ruling Prop. 8 unconstitutional. Prop. 8 supporters then appealed to the country's highest court.

This chronology of the history of gay marriage on the LA Times explains the complex road that has led to today.

The SCOTUS Blog also clarified the immediate impact of the court's decision Friday—there is none.

“Although the Court is ruling on Prop. 8, there is nothing in the order that would lift the 9th CA's stay. So marriage licenses in Calif. will have to wait until this case is decided.”

Friday, the Supreme Court also granted a review of Windsor, a challenge to federal Defense of Marriage Act, according to Bloomberg.

DOMA bars the federal government from recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples.

State Attorney General Kamala D. Harris spoke in support of the court's decision to review Prop. 8.

“Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to consider marriage equality takes our nation one step closer to realizing the American ideal of equal protection under the law for all people,” Harris said in a prepared statement. “For justice to prevail, Proposition 8 must be invalidated so that gay and lesbian families are finally treated with equality and dignity.”

Others echoed her sentiments.

“We are pleased that the court has agreed to decide once and for all whether these blatantly discriminatory marriage bans are permitted under our Constitution,” Ilona Turner, Legal Director of Transgender Law Center in San Francisco said in a prepared statement. “These laws that unconstitutionally restrict access to marriage based solely on gender must be struck down.”

Eight other cases involving same-sex marriage were not added to the Supreme Court's “orders list,” essentially its docket for the next term. Most involved the Defense of Marriage Act.

It's expected the court will hear the marriage cases in the March sitting, March 18-27.

Mark Paxson December 14, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Dessertpatch: Are you opposed to anal sex as practiced by heterosexual couples? How is normal vaginal intercourse any less invasive or violative than the anal variety? Are you opposed to people drinking from a drinking fountain -- spreads disease, you know? Are you opposed to people sneezing in public -- spreads disease you know? In fact, are you opposed to people engaging in sex of any kind -- spreads disease you know? See the problem is that if one follows your train of comments here, it's pretty clear. You find it absolutely repugnant that a man might stick his thing in that hole -- something tells me you're kind of paranoid about it happening to you. And because you find it repugnant and would never do it yourself, you simply cannot understand or tolerate the idea that other people might not be so repulsed, so you manufacture all of these "justifications" that have basically no relevance or foundation. Keep it up, though, you continue to demonstrate that the opposition to gay marriage is based on nothing other than irrational fear.
Aaron December 14, 2012 at 05:15 AM
I'm against the idea of changing the definition of the word marriage. I don't want the SCOTUS to rule in favor of "gay marriage" (nor do I want them to rule against it). I've said it before and I'll keep saying it because it's the best answer....I want the SCOTUS to rule in a way that will require state governments to recognize (and issue licenses for) "Civil Unions" for everyone. Marriage ceremonies can be done in church to ratify the "civil union" if the participants wish. "Marriage" should not be a government issue. All unions should be "civil unions". If individuals want to call what they have a marriage, so be it. If they want to call what they have a Frizbee, let them call their civil union a Frizbee. Who cares?
Ian Arnold December 14, 2012 at 06:12 AM
I think Aaron's onto something. In fact, he may have cribbed it from me elsewhere--though I came at it from the other angle. My wife and I chose to celebrate our commitment to each other with a religious service, but our actual "marriage" was accomplished with three signatures on a piece of paper immediately following the ceremony. The act of standing in front of a priest, rabbi, pastor or shaman does not constitute marriage under the law; so perhaps we should clarify that. If the signatures are what constitutes a "legal" marriage, then it matters not what religious or quasi-religious cermonies a couple engages in. A wedding ceremony, whether performed by a justice of the peace, a member of the clergy or your drunk cousin who got ordained on the internet for a $5 donation shouldn't be referred to as a "marriage." In legal terms, it isn't. If it makes anyone feel better, I've seen nothing in the law that would require a member of the clergy to perform a same-sex marriage--just as some churches still refuse to perform interracial wedding rites or wedding rites between persons of different faiths. So let's continue to have wedding ceremonies, while understanding they have no legal standing; but let's recognize that the appropriately completed certificate turned into the appropriate office constitutes the official act of marriage.
Eric Dee December 15, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Tom you are joking no? Sorry my crystal ball is in wrapping paper and a box and it says do not open til Supreme Court ruling has been announced on Prop 8. You have no idea either, anyone who says they do is smoking something semi legal!
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