The California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, the November 2008 ballot initiative that overturned the right of same-sex marriage in the state, in a 6 to 1 ruling today. The proposition, which passed 52 percent to 48 percent, overturned a May 2008 ruling of the state Supreme Court that resulted in, among other provisions, the legalization of same sex marriage in the state. The Court’s opinion (see PDF) does preserve the marriages of the 18,000 same-sex couples who married in California during the period same-sex marriage was legal.
The Feminist Majority Foundation campaigned to defeat Proposition 8 and coauthored an amicus brief with NOW submitted to the Court in favor of overturning Proposition 8. FMF Executive Vice President Kathy Spillar responded to the ruling: “Before today, the Court has been at the forefront of advancing civil rights under the constitution – even when to do so was controversial – not taking away fundamental rights.”
FMF President Eleanor Smeal said “Plans are already being formulated for bringing the question of same-sex marriage back to the California ballot. The Feminist Majority Foundation will join in any future efforts to restore the fundamental human rights of same-sex couples to marry.” Two petitions are currently in circulation in California that seek to repeal the state’s ban on same-sex marriage through ballot initiatives. One potential ballot measure would replace the term ‘marriage’ with ‘domestic partnership’ under California law, thereby voiding Proposition 8. The second would void Proposition 8 by striking the article of the state constitution that states “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”