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. James

    It is sad that we live in 2009 and we still have biggotry! The arguments that people that support Prop 8 are the same biggoted arguments they used when it came to Black Civil rights.....

    In time we will have it it for all in this land.

    May 26, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. Dogless

    It's a shame that, as a straight man, I can declare that god is dead, say that Jesus can suck it, and proclaim to worship the devil, and STILL get married to my girlfriend.

    Where can I apply for a civil union license? I don't want to get married.

    May 26, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  3. Peter E

    Marriage is a sacred, religious institution. By the Constitution there should be no law governing religion whatsoever. No law should be able to ban the recogniztion of gay marriage by one religion, and no law should require my Church to recognize that union. Keep church and state separate!

    May 26, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  4. Obama also says that....

    only a man and a woman can marry.....

    So, go talk to Obama....he's your voted for him....and now he considers you (if you are gay) something less than human with no right to marry--and Michelle agrees. You lose.

    May 26, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. K7B

    Ha ha ha ha. The voice of the people.

    May 26, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. BJ

    "Split ruling" makes it sound like the vote was was really 6-1.

    May 26, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. Beth Bright

    Now that the decision has been upheld, can we move on to other important issues??? Also, stop tying civil right with gay rights – not even close..

    May 26, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  8. Tracy

    Shame on the voters of California, shame on the religiouis right for promoting intolerance and hate and shame on the California Supreme Court for taking the cowards route in their decision. I am one of the 18,000 whose marriage was upheld but how can I feel joy in the shadow of a hate driven amendment that is now part of California's Constitution.

    May 26, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  9. cassamandra

    this is very sad. I'm glad the 18K marriages remain valid, but I will never understand how a State Supreme Court can rule that everybody has the constitutional right to marry and then back down from its own interpretation.

    May 26, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. Alfred E. Neumann

    Folks, enough is enough. Sit outside the local supermarket and gather signatures and put your views before the people.

    Hint – the people voted last year and said no. As a heterosexual I have no dog in this fight. So, either get smart or stop being so stupid. Men marching down the street dressed up half naked as nuns does your cause no good!

    May 26, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  11. johnny the boy

    I say let everyone get married; let everyone have equal access to the institution. Jack up the fees and enjoy the increased revenue stream. Imagine the income for wedding planners, halls, caterers, photographers, florists, therapists, divorce lawyers, etc.

    May 26, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. Ric in NY

    FINALLY... the CA Supreme Court didn’t over rule the will of the people and gays were put in their place. I was just in Provincetown, MA on a tour and I was appalled by the way the gays acted and treated visitors. In fact, the behavior is so horrific I pray one day a conservative president helps the nation put a federal ban on such a barbaric attack on tradition.

    May 26, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. Chi Town

    Good to see the court agrees with President Obama on one man and one woman.

    May 26, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  14. Tim

    And in the meantime, the Pentagon has acknowledged that 14% of released Gitmo detainees, those very detainees who were deemed the least risky to release amongst all detainees held at Gitmo, returned to the battlefield after their release.

    But don't worry, Obama has a plan.

    May 26, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. Robin

    Well it seems that "We the People" don't want same sex marriage.

    May 26, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. Andre From Brooklyn NY

    Well Jack you be the judge if you put two male horse together then you know the result, a female complement a male, and a male complement a female, its nature and don't what you do it's just not the same. These people or gays, but the BIBLE called them sodomites, its tricky GOD love the sinner but hate the sin that we do. And most of all God destroyed two city for this same act sodom and gomaroy.

    May 26, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. mike

    Glad to see the Suprerme Court upheld the will of the people of California.

    May 26, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. Just My Opinion in Texas

    Insults from both sides of the aisle in 3 .... 2.... 1......

    May 26, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  19. Jason

    I always heard that California is a liberal state, well apparently not. Maybe now we can stop writing states off as red or blue and actually look at how those states vote. Sadly, this is a terrible day for the Constitution as we now see that all men are NOT created equal.

    May 26, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  20. New Jack

    Wonderful news, congrats to California for maintaining a certain level of dignity.

    May 26, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  21. CR

    So California is less progressive than Iowa and some of the northeastern states? Absurd and shameful at the same time.

    May 26, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  22. ATLGuy

    This is without a doubt, the California Supreme Court's "Dred Scott" moment. It's a proud day indeed!

    May 26, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. panem et circenses

    Prepare for hate-filled calls for the death and dismemberment of the California Supreme Court by the liberal moonbats in 3...2...1...

    May 26, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  24. TomJay

    I thought California was a very blue state that supported Obama with a big margin last year. I guess that since Obama does not support gay marriage, Obama must have signaled his supporters to support Prop 8.

    May 26, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  25. Les

    There is a fundamental aspect of the same sex marriage debate that is commonly overlooked. Bans on same sex marriage are not discriminatory to gays. Gays are free to marry those of the opposite sex. Straight people are not allowed to marry those of the same sex. So gays and straights are not being treated differently.

    May 26, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
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