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. Mrs. AJS

    I don't care what anyone says, "same-sex marriage is an abomination before God." It is corrupt to the very core! I don't care what you say and how you try to justify it, IT IS ABSOLUTELY WRONG!!

    May 26, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  2. HSNP

    California has become an intolerant, bankrupt backwater. Gay Californians need to pack up and move to some place more enlightened, like Iowa.

    May 26, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. donttreadonme

    The “people” of California have already spoken and this was the only possible outcome. It is possible that the marriage ban could be reversed through a new referendum and only if the “people” of California agree.
    Power to the people!

    May 26, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  4. gillis

    Finally the court has sided with the majority of humanity who have rejected the filth the gay community is trying to ram down our throats. They think they are black – black is not a behavior..

    May 26, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. Rob

    Well, I guess it was more than those big, dumb, mean religious zealots the Mormans that supported Prop 8. Apparently not everyone sides with an overly vocal minority and a smatering of stars jumping at any chance to get some publicity.

    May 26, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Although I'm opposed to same sex marriage, I don't think it's fair to the same sex couples who didn't get married in 2008. That being said, California now must approve same sex marriage for the entire stae.

    May 26, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  7. Stortz

    I have just one word for this Constitutional Cluster… Appeal!

    May 26, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. Jim

    some day, California ... and the rest of the world ... will realize that gay people are people first. and their rights are just as important as everyone else's.

    shame on california for this one.

    May 26, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  9. Paul

    The seperation of powers is the cornerstone of the Constitution. The fact that Proposistion 8 had to be drawn up to protect the institution of marriage is not a good sign. Even he most secular of the founding fathers must be stunned by activist judges and the creation of laws with little regard to the ten commandments or the Constituion.

    May 26, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  10. sandra

    The voice of the people has been heard. We have voted on this issue more than I congratulate the court for listening.

    May 26, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  11. David

    It is really good news and upholds the traditional marriage. The judges have done a good job. It will put the issueto rest for now.

    May 26, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  12. Jack

    The California Supreme Court ruled that as long as the majority of citizens in a state want to legalize discrimination, it can. How nice. Now we have the legal precident set that will allow us to make it illegal to be Jewish, or black, or Catholic, or Hispanic, or left handed. We can make it legal to declare women to be inferior to men. We can make it illegal to be atheist.

    May 26, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  13. christa

    As long people pay taxes, they should have the same right as anyone else. Where is the compassion California, you who voted against it , love thy neighbor. Also the judges should lead the way in helping our fellow americans, who did not ask to be gay or lesbian. This is not fair

    May 26, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  14. Justin

    If anybody would actually care to make an educated comment on the ruling, they should actually read the opinion. I'm doing this now and thankfully the Court did what their job OBLIGATED them to do by the Constitution of California.

    Of course, I doubt severely that many people will actually sit down and read the document. Everybody likes to complain; nobody likes to actually discuss.

    May 26, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. Proud DHS radical

    This is the part of the ruling that I love folks! "The court said the people have a right, through the ballot box, to change their constitution." Well lets get the constitution ratified changing the term limits for our Senators to just two. That will clean house on both parties.

    May 26, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. jizzo

    What is this world coming to?, people can have a right to choose & live there lives as they want, but a marriage should be between a man and a woman, to even debate this legally is wrong wrong wrong

    May 26, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. Greg

    Bigots when again...

    This is no longer the United States of America where freedom is enjoyed by all but the United States of the Christen Right who Lie and Cheat to spreed their HATE. It is Time to get religon out of government....start making religon pay taxes on their hate....and remove MARRIAGE for all and only have Civil Union's. Church hate mongers stay within the four walls of your church of Sin and lies and say out of everyone's lives.

    May 26, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  18. Bekah

    So Iowa is more progressive, fair, and Constitutionally right than California. That's just pathetic.

    May 26, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  19. Linda

    I am pro-same-sex marriage. I would like to see Proposition 8 reversed by a vote of the people rather than a court. I think same-sex marriage will be legal in the near future.

    May 26, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  20. Gary of West Hollywood

    A sad, sad day to all the LGBT Community. Hope to see the true meaning of equality in my lifetime. We will never surrender! We will fight on, if not for us, but to all the future gay sons and daughters of America. Yes, including the sons and daughters of those who voted Yes on Prop 8!

    May 26, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  21. Jerry

    Why should laws be structured around perverted sexual practices???

    May 26, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  22. GOP Disaster

    I guess this mean that interracial marriages will be banned in California? A major set back for the Golden State.

    May 26, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  23. dan in Tucson

    I guess California isn't as open minded as one would think, either that or the small number of opposers are more organized. Not a good sign for the advancement of human rights, now is it.

    May 26, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. mk

    If we left it to a vote im sure it would be close to either have or outlaw slavery....

    May 26, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. Boytjie

    Apparently 18,000 same-sex marriages in California won't be enough to destroy the institution of marrige. I wonder what the magic number is?

    May 26, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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