As was widely expected, by a 6-1 vote the California Supreme Court this morning (via KRON in SF) upheld the voters' decision on Proposition 8:
Proposition 8 was a California ballot proposition [the ProtectMarriage.com organization sponsored the initiative] passed in the November 4, 2008, general election. It changed the state Constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples and eliminated same-sex couples' right to marry, thereby overriding portions of the ruling of In re Marriage Cases. The measure added a new section (7.5) to Article I, which reads: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." California's State Constitution put the measure into immediate effect on November 5, the day after the election. The proposition did not affect the existing domestic partnerships in California.
Prop 8 effectively reversed the 4-3 California Supreme Court ruling in "In re Marriage Cases" that declared same sex marriage to be a CA constitutional right.
In the Prop 8 case, opposition groups claimed that Prop 8 was not legal:
The lawsuit the state Supreme Court is ruling on was filed by same-sex couples and local governments who claimed that Proposition 8 became law in an illegal manner. The suit alleged the proposition was a revision -- not an amendment -- to the Constitution because it took away the fundamental rights of a group. A revision is considered a more significant change that requires more than a majority ballot vote.
i.e. such a change would require action by either the legislature or by a constitutional convention.
Oral arguments in the present case were made on March 5; an account can be found here. Suffice to say it did not go well for the litigants.
"Retroactivity" of Prop 8
The SCO-Cal today also decided the issue of
whether approximately 18,000 same-sex marriages already in effect would be retroactively annulled by the constitutional change or whether they would be preserved, since the amendment does not state explicitly that it would nullify same-sex marriages performed before the change took effect.
On this issue, the Court has ruled 7-0 that existing marriages will not be nullified.
You want action? here's yer NorCal action:
One Struggle, One Fight is planning some nonviolent civil disobedience with Bay Area clergy and congregants – if the Court rules against marriage equality. Be around Civic Center Park today at 10:30 a.m., especially if you want to help them out as a peacekeeper or legal observer.
At 5:00 p.m. tonight, Marriage Equality USA will host a rally at City Hall to protest (or celebrate) the Court decision. After an hour of speeches, participants will march down Market Street to Yerba Buena Gardens – behind the Metreon, and in front of the Martin Luther King Memorial. If you can’t be there, you can follow it on Twitter. There will be dozens of simultaneous marches and rallies in other cities across the state and country.
After today is when the real work starts. On Saturday, May 30th a broad coalition of marriage equality supporters from across California will converge in Fresno to Meet in the Middle with a big rally at 1:00 p.m.
In Orange County:
OC Equality Coalition's "Day of Decision" event at the Old Orange Courthouse in Santa Ana at 6 p.m. today.
UPDATE: Protesters in SF are blocking Van Ness at Grove; KRON says they are apparently going to stay until arrested.
UPDATE2: 5 Fulton muni line also apparently disrupted.
UPDATE3: Analysis of decision can be found here.