Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Prop 8 Upheld in California

© 2009 AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

6-1 Decision by the Court

Despite the cries of many, California's Supreme Court upheld the state's gay-marriage ban Tuesday. The court did say that the 18,000 same-sex marriages that took place before the ban passed are still valid.

Demonstrators outside the court yelled, "Shame on you!" Activists said they will rally voters to repeal the ban next year.

Chief Justice Ron George wrote the 6-1 decision in which the court rejected arguments that the ban caused a big enough change to the California Constitution that it needed to pass through the Legislature for approval.

The Voice of Protest

A group of about 80 people rallied outside the Los Angeles County clerk's office, where marriage licenses are given out. Waving rainbow flags and holding signs that read "Repeal Prop 8 in 2010."

Much of San Francisco's gay population reside in the Castro District and here they lowered the large rainbow flag above the Harvey Milk Plaza to half mast and put a black stripe on the top.

"We're relieved our marriage was not invalidated, but this is a hollow victory because there are so many that are not allowed to marry those they love," said Amber Weiss, 32, who was part of the crowd at San Francisco's City Hall.

But the tone coming from Christian conservatives was much different.

"We are extremely pleased that the Supreme Court has acknowledged the right of voters to define marriage in the California Constitution," said a lawyer for, Andrew P. Pugno.

The court said that although the ban prevents gay couples from using the term "marriage," they still have the basic right to form a relationship and raise a family with the person of their choice. California allows domestic partnerships among gay couples.

Experts said that gay rights supporters can still appeal in the federal courts by arguing that Proposition 8 violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

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