Protestors demanding the repeal of Proposition 8 outside the California
State Capitol in Sacramento. (Pic by Doxiehaus)

The California Supreme Court will today determine the validity of the state’s same-sex marriage ban, known as Proposition 8. The long-awaited decision will be posted on the court’s website some time today.

Proposition 8 was passed by voters in November last year by 52 percent. The initiative by conservative groups effectively reversed a previous ruling legalising same-sex marriage in California.

The court has three issues which need to be dealt with:

Is Proposition 8 invalid because it constitutes a revision of, rather than an amendment to, the California Constitution?; Does Proposition 8 violate the separation of powers doctrine under the California Constitution?; and If Proposition 8 is not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before the adoption of Proposition 8?

Shannon Minter, the NCLR attorney who earlier successfully argued the gay marriage case before the high court, said that Prop 8 should be ruled invalid because the initiative process was improperly used in an attempt to undo the constitution’s core commitment to equality for everyone.

He also argued that Proposition 8 improperly attempted to prevent the courts from exercising their essential constitutional role of protecting the equal protection rights of minorities.

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