May 26th, 2009
02:20 PM ET
14 years ago

California high court upholds same-sex marriage ban

SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) - California's Supreme Court has upheld a ban on same-sex marriage that state voters passed in November, but allowed about 18,000 marriages performed before the ban to remain valid.

The split ruling was met with chants of "shame on you" from a crowd of about 1,000 people who gathered outside the court building in San Francisco.

"It's nice that my marriage is still intact, but that's not the point," Kathleen White, who married her partner in 2008, told CNN.

Opponents of the ban argued that the controversial Proposition 8, which state voters passed, 52 percent to 48 percent, in November, improperly altered the California constitution to restrict a fundamental right guaranteed in the state's charter. But the court - which had allowed same-sex marriages in a 2008 decision - found the measure was narrow enough to pass legal muster.

Filed under: California • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (177 Responses)
  1. gt

    thank you !! did you hear that new hampshire,,,,

    May 26, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  2. Once You Vote Black

    Thats what I am talking about: Great news! The California Court up held the ban. I am liberal but let’s not get carried away. SS Marriage is a little too rich for my blood.

    May 26, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  3. No Incumbents 2010

    The government should exit the marriage business altogether. All unions should be called "civil unions" regardless of same-sex or opposite sex.
    Let churches decide what they want to call "marriage" if the couple seeks a religious endorsement of their partnership. If a church does not want to endore same-sex marriages that is fine, no one is required to join their church.
    Why do we need the government to tell us what marriage means?

    May 26, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. Shawn

    "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice." -MLK

    Marriage equality is inevitable despite setbacks. It's just a matter of time. There are zero rational, moral, legal, constitutional or social reasons to deny gay people marriage rights. None.

    May 26, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  5. John S

    I marvel at these judges on the California's Supreme Court. What a bunch of ignorant people. Bigots.

    May 26, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. Greg from MA

    Eh, they followed the law. There was nothing unconstitutional about what happened.

    That said, I hope the voters of California overturn Prop 8 when given the opportunity to do so.

    May 26, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. Roger

    Marriage is ONLY BETWEEN A MAN and WOMAN, because:

    1. Only a Sperm can Fertilize an Egg, for Reproduction and Life.

    2. All young ones of All Animals on Earth are Nurtured by a Male and a Female. Humans can’t change the course of Mother Nature.

    May 26, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  8. a southern progressive

    dying without equality... the un-american dream.. a life wasted. that is what you are dealing the gay and lesbian community when you deny us equality.. so with that being said.. those who oppose any kind of marriage based on love because of something unprovable in a book of mythology, can go to hades.

    up yours, cause i am tired

    May 26, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  9. BK

    Whether you are for it or against it, the people voted and their voices should determine the results. If people go out and vote and then its overturned by the court. What reason do we have to vote? It would mean nothing.

    May 26, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  10. Inspector Bob

    I am a white, straight, WASC (catholic) American male. This is just wrong.

    May 26, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. Dawn

    This really sucks! Equality in this Country is wrong, EVERYONE complains about Socialism, well this country tells us who we can love or not. Gays and Lesbians are people too and they love just like a man and a Woman, get with the program California...

    May 26, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  12. bill s

    It's official: Using their money, manpower and organization, religious institutions like the Mormon Church can amend your state constitution to make certain 'types' who don't fit their doctrine less equal under the law.

    So much for separation of church and state.

    May 26, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. TCM

    Some moral decency remaining in the world...I love it when social and moral deviants are put in their place. It's absolutely sickening when NORMAL, decent, families have to tolerate seeing that crap, or their children are inadvertantly subjected to it. Back to the closet all of you! Back!

    May 26, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. Gary

    Bravo to the California Supreme Court for not allowing a minority gay militant idiots influence it's correct decision!

    May 26, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  15. Kevin in Ohio

    To quote so many of the left-wing loons on this ticker: "You LOST, get over it!"

    May 26, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  16. ray ray

    Actually THIS ruling now creates unequal protection... some gay people have valid marriages while others can not.

    The court should have undone the previous marriages to make ALL equal.

    May 26, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. Wanda

    Great for California!!! Marriage is between man and woman: man and man cannot procreate, neither can woman and woman. Figure it out!

    May 26, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  18. Jeff - Texas

    Nice to see that the high court has sided with the majority. TIme to celebrate!

    May 26, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  19. Randolph Carter

    Those darn activist judges legislating from the bench again! Have a nice day!

    May 26, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  20. Chad

    This is extremely disappointing. Victory for the Evangelical Republicans, but a loss for common humanity.

    May 26, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  21. Enough

    Glad to see that Liberal California court upheld the voters decision. Marriage is man and woman, husband and wife. Gays are partners, if they want their own title, as in civil union, I would support that. But I will not support redefining marriage. It is NOT the same and should not be named as such. The court ruled against the gay community, let's see if they can practice the tolerance they preach...........doubtful!

    May 26, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  22. Teri LaBuwi

    This ruling is a sad example of how hatred is spreading in our world like wildfire. Why is it that a person can HATE anyone they want without penalty, but we have so many silly restrictions on love?

    May 26, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  23. IndyVoter

    Good for you Cali.

    May 26, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  24. Regular People

    So it's totally illegal now. Except for the 18000 times that it is... uh, legal.

    Makes perfect sense.

    Some people must just be more equal than others, I suppose.

    May 26, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. Amy

    Is is with shame that we remember the days when blacks were slaves. When blacks could not vote. When women could not vote. When a black person and a white person could not marry. We were wrong then, and California is wrong now.

    Why are we so slow to learn from our mistakes?

    It is time for same-sex couples to have the right to marry.

    May 26, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
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