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. Linda from Minnesota

    To Ryan –
    What you don't understand is that it matters to gays and lesbians. It may not matter to you but you are not the one being discriminated against.

    May 26, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. seebofubar

    I'll tell you what, let the gay's and lesbians call it marriage. We'll start calling a union between a man and a woman "Cabbage". In no time they'll all want cabbage. A union of two homosexuals is a civil union the union of a man and a woman is a marriage. THEY HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS NOW!!!! A cow is a cow and a horse is a horse.....get over it.

    May 26, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  3. John in Ohio

    "Thank God, If the people vote against something they should have the last word. The federal govermant shouldn't have the right to overturn it. (if they did overturn it I was going to think I was living in Nazi germany)."

    Um, it was California stat's Supreme Court that handed down the decision. Not the Supreme Court of the United States. But you're just being predictably ignorant, that's cool.

    May 26, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. Scott in Atlanta

    Why do gay people always want to equate their "equality" struggle with blacks and slavery?

    Last I checked, a gay person could always "act" straight if it suited them. (And they often do.) But a black person will always be black no matter how they act.

    Does not compare. Black people are not confused, they just have mellonan in their pigmentation.

    May 26, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  5. Matthew

    Nice to see that California, whose Reagan-style tax policies and frothy-mouthed Republican party have the state reverting to cannibalism in this economy, still has enough time and intellectual energy to devote to discrimination.

    May 26, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  6. Joe

    BIG DAY for the Christians!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Trying to take a tradition away from a religious group or any type of group is un-America. Proud proud day in the state of California.

    May 26, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  7. Darth Vadik, CA

    Bigotry is bigotry, no matter in what book it is writen.

    May 26, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. Joe

    Absolutely the correct decision by the court! Enough of this nonsense.

    May 26, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. Michigan Jim

    The California Supreme Court initally held that the marriage ban violated the state constitution. So the voters amended the constitution. And now, somewhat surprisingly to me, rather than ignore the voters and pull out a new legal rabbit, the Court has agreed. That's it. End of the story. The United States Supreme Court does not get involved in interpreting state constitutions.

    May 26, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  10. DaveC

    California, the state where a simple majority of the voters can strip away the rights of a minority but it takes a 2/3 vote of the electorate to raise anyones taxs. That says it all about what our priorities are here.

    May 26, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. Darth Vadik, CA

    There is a lot of difference just here in these blogs between pro-gay marriage and anti-gay marriage people. The anti-gay people seem to be really enthusiastic about discrimination, some even saying that we should ban gay-ness altogether...

    ...let me see, who else baned gay people, gypsies, Jewish people, non-white people, mentally challenged people and anyone else who did not fit in the "perfect white person" image.....

    ...oh yes, HITLER.

    May 26, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  12. ColoDem

    To hell with all of you who think this is some victorious day!!! You aren't bigots you are religious sadist!!!!

    May 26, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  13. Chris

    Wah wah wah. The people did not know what they were voting for. It is over deal with it I do not agree but deal with it rules are rules

    May 26, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. Mari

    The Voters of California voted, no one held a 'gun to their head'. The court needed to weigh that fact carefully, I am sure.

    Once again, I ask the LGBT community: Why isn't Civil marriage enough?

    May 26, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  15. More bad decisons by the cipher in chief

    You leftist losers that throw out the words "haters, bigots, Republicans, homophobes" etc, etc, you DO REALIZE that your annointed one is AGAINST GAY MARRIAGE AS WELL as are the MAJORITY of ALL AMERICANS.

    I realize you misguided losers don't really care about the content of his words, but just that he says them so nicely!!!!!

    You can't dare oppose this or be deemed a bigot or the SCOTUS nominee who is sexist and racist in her own words, but again, words don't matter to you "people".

    Kevin from Ohio put it best, just like you sheep bleat all the time, "YOU lost in Calli, get over it".

    One and done Barry.

    May 26, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  16. Paul

    At least they upheld the 18, 000 marriages that were performed during the time it was legal.

    I find it interesting that so many Christians will take this issue so seriously and TRY to find sources in the Bible that support their views against gays, but when issues of war and torture come up, Christians are equally quick to ignore what Jesus and the Bible CLEARLY state on those issues.

    May 26, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. Erased

    I was officially erased today.
    When I woke up on election day I had civil and constitutional rights. But, apparently, my existence pissed off enough people that they went to the polls and erased me from the CA constitution.
    So, be careful: shut up, keep your head down, be grateful for whatever "rights" folks aren't after and just do your best to stay invisible. Maybe, just maybe, you can avoid being erased too.

    May 26, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  18. fella from Chicago

    This is terrible news! The people of California don't understand your concerns and right to live a free life as you see fit. I suggest you try an Arab country like Iran; I'm sure they'll give you head... or is it behead? None of my gay friends have returned to tell me which it is.

    May 26, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. Mike- Kansas City MO

    To Roger:
    Did you flunk Biology in school?
    Marriage has absolutely NOTHING to do with reproduction. Last time I checked you do not have to be married to have children.

    In addition, the marriage vows include nothing about the couple having children. If it did, then only those who could actually reproduce would be allowed to get married.
    Try another argument that actually has some intelligence behind it. Otherwise, sit down and shut up.

    Same-sex marriage will be legal in California! It is a matter of time!

    May 26, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  20. Natalie

    CA Supreme Court Upholds Bigotry. Big day for Ignoraant christians indeed! So the CA Constitution is what is in error? Change it – CA legislators need to take a stand. You can't vote on equality – Legislate it.

    May 26, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  21. Kevin Denver Colorado

    Reality King: Obviously Miss California was right and the hate filled left was wrong…

    Disgust for your hate is NOT HATE! Idiot, just like intolerance of intolerance IS NOT intolerance. But I imagine such nuance would be lost on a person of such limited intellect.

    May 26, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  22. Jimmy the Greek

    To all you whiney gay couples complaining about the ruling... Iowa is a great place. Go get married, settle down and raise some kids. Well since you can't actually HAVE kids... raise some corn.

    May 26, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  23. Danny

    This is heading to the Supreme Court.

    May 26, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  24. demwit

    Appeal! Appeal!!

    May 26, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  25. dennisk

    I wonder if all the defenders of the so-called sanctity of marriage would support a proposition to make divorce illegal? I'm thinking... not.
    Bigots (religious and otherwise) will always hide behind arguments about protecting 'marriage' or 'the children' because they couldn't live with themselves if they had to face the truth.
    Oh, yes, and of course I'm impressed by all the very Christ-like comments to be found in these posts...

    May 26, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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