IssuesMaking Marriage Something It's Not

The Prop 8 Saga

The legal challenge to California's Proposition 8 demonstrates the lengths activists will go to use the courts to force same-sex marriage on a state, even when its citizens voted to affirm marriage ... twice.

History of the Prop 8 Saga
March 2000
Prop 22
The people of California voted to affirm marriage as a union between a man and woman through Proposition 22.
May 2008
Prop 22 Struck Down
The California State Supreme Court struck down Proposition 22 and redefined marriage throughout the state (temporarily) with its In re Marriage Cases decision.
November 2008
Prop 8
The people passed Proposition 8, with 7,001,084 votes, which restored California’s definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Executive Branch Fails to Defend Marriage, ADF and Intervene
Every state’s executive branch is supposed to defend the laws of the state when they are challenged in court. California’s state attorney general refused to defend Proposition 8 in court. That’s when Alliance Defending Freedom and the coalition united to take up the legal defense of the people of California on marriage.
August 2010
Prop 8 Struck Down
The Proposition 8 case was intentionally filed and tried in San Francisco, where Proposition 8 was initially struck down as unconstitutional. That decision was issued by a judge who, like the plaintiffs that filed the case, was in a long-term same-sex relationship (a fact that he did not disclose until after his ruling).
February 2012
Prop 8 Appeal
The Proposition 8 case was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit before a 3-judge panel that included the most overturned federal judge in America. His wife also worked for 38 years as executive director of the ACLU of Southern California, and her organization filed a brief with the trial court in that very case urging the court to strike down Proposition 8. Despite this, the judge refused to excuse himself from the case. The Ninth Circuit upheld the lower court’s decision.
June 2013
U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Resolve Prop 8's Constitutionality
The High Court ruled that our clients’ appeal must be dismissed because they did not have “legal standing”—that is, the right to defend the amendment in court. Dismissing the case on that ground voided the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision against Prop 8.
August 2013
California Supreme Court Declines to Resolve Prop 8's Fate
In August 2013, the California State Supreme Court announced they would not hear and decide the important, still-unresolved questions about the enforcement of Proposition 8, the law of the land in California. Regrettably, California’s governor and attorney general turned a blind eye to the enforcement of its state’s constitution and, by doing so, silenced more than 7 million Californians who clearly expressed their views about marriage when they passed Proposition 8.

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