2008 November 4

Proposition 8: California Bans Same-Sex Marriage


By popular referendum, California voters amended the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. The law provoked a long and complex legal battle. It was challenged in court and declared unconstitutional by a federal District Court in August 2010. On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that challengers to the District Court decision did not have standing to challenge the Court decision. The Supreme Court’s decision left the lower court decision stand, thereby making same-sex legal in California. Marriages resumed almost immediately. (Read the book by the lawyers who took the case to the Supreme Court, David Boies and Theodore Olson, below.)

On June 26, 2015, in Obergefell v. Hudson, the Supreme Court declared that same-sex marriage was constitutional in the entire United States under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Text of Proposition 8:
This initiative measure is submitted to the people in accordance with the provisions of Article II, Section 8, of the California Constitution. This initiative measure expressly amends the California Constitution by adding a section thereto; therefore, new provisions proposed to be added are printed in italic type to indicate that they are new.

SECTION 1. Title. This measure shall be known and may be cited as the “California Marriage Protection Act.”

SECTION 2. Section 7.5 is added to Article I of the California Constitution, to read:

SEC. 7.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

Read: David Boies and Theodore Olson, Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality (2014)

Learn more at a timeline of the history of Proposition 8: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/26/proposition-8-timeline_n_3503512.html

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