Let’s face it; Proposition 8 has been a roller coaster of confusion. In short, it was unconstitutional then became part of the constitution, then was ruled as unconstitutional, then was denied that ruling, and then, stay with me now, became unconstitutional again. The ‘how’ and ‘why’ are not so easily understood, but the ‘when’ and ‘what’ of Prop 8 can be broken down a little more simply. Here is a briefing of the ‘when’ and ‘what’ of this roller coaster known as Proposition 8:
• In the year 2000, Proposition 22 was put into action in California which restricted marriage to be only between opposite-sex couples
• In May of 2008, the California Supreme Court struck this law down as it violated the state constitution
• The same year, “Proposition 8 – Eliminates Right of Same Sex Couples to Marry” is introduced to the voting ballots in California
• On November 4, 2008 voters approve the measure making same-sex marriage illegal in California
• The vote: 52.3% – Yes; 47.7% No
• A new amendment is created in the California Constitution stating, “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
• Three lawsuits are filed after the vote against Prop 8
• Lawsuits are ‘considered’ by the California Supreme Court, but in 2009, the Court upheld the constitutionality of the amendment
• Finally in August 2010, a federal district court ruling appealed Proposition 8 ruling it unconstitutional under the U.S. Constitution
• On August 12, 2010, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that gay marriages could begin again on August 18. However, on August 16, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals goes against Walker’s ruling, putting same-sex marriage on hold once again
• 2011 brings about debates, discussions and deciding upon discrimination (a topic of discussion being the fact that Judge Walker was gay), leading to …
The year 2012, when equality is beginning to trickle down the shores of California. On February 7, in a 2 -1 decision, a Ninth Circuit of Appeals panel recognized and affirmed Walker’s decision, declaring Prop 8, unconstitutional for the first, no… second, no…. third time.
Now we wait. We wait for Prop 8 supporters to try and try again, as they now have the option to appeal the court’s decision to a larger panel of the Ninth Circuit Court or perhaps even venture on up to the Supreme Court.
Now we wait. We wait to watch love conquer hate.
(Sources – NBC: http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/politics/Proposition-8-Timeline-History-California–138796454.html
BallotPedia: http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/California_Proposition_8,_the_%22Eliminates_Right_of_Same-Sex_Couples_to_Marry%22_Initiative_%282008%29 Photo Courtesy of: http://ukgaynews.org.uk/images/Gilbert_Baker/California_Rainbow.jpg)