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. Cincinnatian

    Fear + Hate = Prop 8.

    Love is greater than fear or hate. Be patient and persistent, California, and continue to educate the fearful. You will rise above this division and discrimination and will once again lead our country in civil rights.

    Dear Focus on the Family, Knights of Columbus, and Mormons – we see through your self-righteousness into your hearts of fear. You are not true followers of Christ. Who will you hate next?

    May 26, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  2. Ana

    I don't understand the controversy. The American people voted; the said no to same sex marriage-there should be no more discussion.

    May 26, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  3. Paul, CA

    Hiding behind the arguement that same sex marriage threatens traditional marriage is as absurd as saying traditional marriage is alive and well with a divorce rate of 1 to 1. The approval of same sex marriage is just a matter of time, only this time Calilfornia will be following the rest of the country instead of leading it. Pathetic!

    May 26, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    GOD's word will always prevail

    May 26, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. the people have spoken......

    Can't wait to read all the "tolerant" comments from the left, but I will say I am extremely happy with the Court's decision. The people have indeed spoken!!!

    May 26, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. Really!?

    Its sad to think that the California Supreme Court is smarter than the iowa Supreme Court. Iowans there is still hope your constitution still clearly states that marriage is a man and woman, perhaps you can buy your judges glasses so that they can read.

    May 26, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. Ben Harrison

    Boooooooo! That is all.

    May 26, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. Edward Veidt

    Shame on you, California. Evil won today, but will not last forever.

    May 26, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  9. Victory

    GOD's word will always prevail......

    May 26, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. George Guadiane Austerlitz, NY

    I don't live in California.
    I'm not gay.
    I'm married (and not afraid of what gay marriage might do to my marriage).
    I think it's sad that this is still an issue.
    Gay people are subject to the same rules of law, and BECAUSE of the law, they are not entitled to the same access to and/or impact of the law they must follow.
    It is wrong, under the law, to limit the options of two consenting adults to equal access of those laws.
    OH, and if the marriage of Jim and Tammy Fay and or those of Newt or anyone else, doesn't impact my marriage, then the marriage of ANY couple will not impact mine (or yours).

    May 26, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |

    wonderful! sweet ! beautiful! marvelous! outstanding! great! lovely! yippy! hip hip hurry!

    May 26, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. hockeybear

    Iowa before California? How sad.

    May 26, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. Jonita

    It's a sad day when US citizens can't marry the person they love ..

    May 26, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. mike

    first voting against tax increase and now this. Is California becoming a Conservative state now? Glad to see they are headed in the right direction.

    May 26, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. carlo

    As a Democrat who voted for Obama, I really don't care about this. Man has been here for thousands of years and I have yet to read where any society had gay marriages, even in the most liberal of those societies, including Rome, where homosexuality was open and freely expressed. I don't care if they get married. God doesn't see it as such anyway, so the church should stay out of it. Let the courts decide. God gives us free will and you can't bully people into doing things your way, whether you are for it or against it.

    May 26, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  16. Ben

    Outrageous. I demand that each of the 7 justices votes be released so I can personally contact each of the 6 who decided that political pressure takes precedence over civil rights.

    May 26, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  17. Mama for Obama

    Shame on the California Supreme Court.! It is good that they upheld previous same sex marriages, but sad that they didn't overturn Proposition 8. If the people of California voted for slavery, would the California Supreme Court uphold that? Justice and equality is pure and simple. Kudos to the Iowa Supreme Court. It took great courage for them to do the right thing. Shame on California. The rest of the country expected more from you.

    May 26, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  18. Tim from NC

    Finally some good news from California.....

    May 26, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  19. David

    Ouch... Sorry that the rights are denied to the people... I don't know why it was banned. Hope this comment shows my support to you people in the community that I care about you all.

    May 26, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. Brian in AZ

    Not gonna lie, "shame on you" doesn't exactly sound like something you say in the midst of a fight for what you consider fundamental rights. It sounds like what your mother says when you don't take the trash out.

    Seriously, this whole debate is less about whether or not sexual orientation represents an inborn distinction equivelant to race or whether marriage has civil roots or a religious foundation. It's about "we're more tolerant than you: feel guilty!"

    May 26, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  21. Terry

    This is way too trivial an issue for us to be wasting national energy and time on it. If two guys or two gals want to get married, let them do it. They are living together now anyway. Who is hurt? Not me. Not you.

    We have important issues to discuss, and this is not one of them.

    May 26, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |

    Good! And I'm a liberal Democrat. I don't understand why people think that because you're a Democrat you're FOR gay marriage. I know a lot of Democrats that are liberal, but still against it.

    May 26, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  23. Jon

    The courts are off the table. The trick in California is this: voters can change their minds. So, rather than making an endrun around the people, California's gay community has a great opportunity to re-launch itself and convince people (gasp, how dare we expect a people in a free democratic republic to have to win over the hearts and minds of the people rather than have a judicial oligarchy bend to their every whim). Make the case, convince people, and give the voters a chance to change their minds and approve it by popular consent. It can be done, it's just that nobody has honestly tried before.

    May 26, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  24. osmt

    Those who believe and advocating same sex marriage should know also that they are violating the freedom of others. They are compelling others to agree and validate them no matter what.
    Those who believe in one man and one woman whole don't ask for your endorsement and would not compel you do so.
    If majority say no, so let it be written and so let it be.

    May 26, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  25. Melissa

    This is wrong.

    May 26, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
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