Proposition 8 was overturned by a federal Judge in California on August 4, 2010. The ruling was decided after a gay couple claimed that the proposition violated the Constitution and therefore violated their rights.
Judge Vaughn Walker overturned the Proposition saying “the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples.”
Same-sex marriages were performed between June 2008 and November 2008.
Judge Walker also ruled that marriages could resume on August 18, 2010 but the ruling was stayed pending appeal.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is now dealing with the case and ruled that same-sex marriage could not resume until the issue has been resolved.
Proposition 8 was a ballot proposition and Constitutional amendment passed in November 2008 in the State of California’s elections. The proposition reads, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
The news of the August 4 ruling once again puts the subject of gay marriage in the spotlight.Supporters and protestors of the proposition also proved that the nation is still questioning the meaning of marriage and who is allowed to do it.
“We all deserve the freedom to marry,” read one sign in California. Signs that argued against the ruling tried to reinforce the idea of marriage being limited to a man and a woman.
With the 2010 elections approaching, many candidates have been using Proposition 8 as a way to entice voters to vote for them. Republican governor candidate, Meg Whitman says that she will defend Proposition 8 if she is elected, stating, “I think the governor, the attorney general today has to defend the constitution and has to enable the judicial process to go along and has to enable an appeal to go through.”
California Governor Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown so far have not supported the ban on same-sex marriage, but concerns have been raised about the governor not supporting the will of voters.
The fight is not over, however. The case could end up in the U.S. Supreme Court in the next few years and supporters are hopeful that it could mean a change in the U.S. Constitution and allow different tates the opportunity to change their laws as well.
Currently five states recognize and perform same-sex marriages: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
New York, Rhode Island, and Maryland recognize same-sex marriage but do not give marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Margaret Weaver is a third year student majoring in English. She can be reached at MW678077@wcupa.edu.