California Supreme Court defers ruling on same-sex marriage ban

Thursday, March 5, 2009

After hours of hearing arguments in the case questioning the legality of the ban on same-sex marriages in California, in the United States, the state's Supreme Court deferred ruling on the ban, known as Proposition 8. The court could issue a ruling in the next 90 days.

Opponents of the ban were fighting to have the law overturned— saying it was unconstitutional for the state to have banned same-sex marriages. Californians voted in November 2008 to ban same-sex marriages, leaving the nearly 20,000 married same-sex couples wondering if their marriages, which were legal at the time they were married, would be voided.

"Prop 8 opponents would have the court choose between the inalienable right to marry and the right of the people to change the constitution as they see fit, and what I'm picking up from the oral argument in this case is this court should willy-nilly disregard the will of the people," Justice Joyce Kennard said while addressing Shannon Minter, the lawyer representing the opponents of the ban.

One of the petitioners in the case against Proposition 8, Robin Tyler, told Reuters that she thinks "they [the court] are going to uphold our marriages and they are going to uphold Proposition 8, and it's a loss."

In June 2008, the state supreme court ruled that the ban was unconstitutional. Between that time, and November 2008, 18,000 same-sex couples were legally married in California. Currently in the United States, same-sex marriages are only legal in Connecticut and Massachusetts.


  Learn more about Same-sex marriage in the United States on Wikipedia.