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Proposition 8 to be Challenged in Federal Court, Ballot Initiatives Planned

A federal lawsuit that challenges Proposition 8 was filed in a US District Court and calls for an injunction against the proposition. The suit, to filed by two prominent attorneys who argued against one another over the 2000 presidential election in Bush v. Gore, is on the behalf of two same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses after the passage of Proposition 8, the November 2008 ballot initiative that overturned the right of same-sex marriage in the state, reported the Los Angeles Times. If an injunction against the enforcement of Proposition 8 is granted in this suit, same-sex couples in California would regain the right to marry at least until the case is decided.

Two petitions are also 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.”

The California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8 in a 6 to 1 ruling yesterday. 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.

Currently, same-sex is legal in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, and Maine. Legislation to legalize same-sex marriage is currently under consideration in New Hampshire and New York

Sources:

Feminist Daily Newswire 5/13/09, 5/26/09; LA Times 5/26/09