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California Dreamin’ - A Prop 8 Timeline legalize marriage between same-gender couples, and the first to allow out-of-state residents to marry as well. Rainbow flags waved throughout the land, high in a sunny sky, and approximately 18,000 gay & lesbian couples throughout California legally wed.

In the roughly five short months after California began issuing marriage licenses on June 16, 2008, over 18,000 gay and lesbian couples wed prior to the passage of Proposition 8. Remarkably reminiscent of the civil rights battles of the 1960s, Proposition 8 once again placed the rights of a single minority up for a popular vote.

the US District Court. At the end of the thirteen-day trail, same-gender couples worldwide waited for Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision. His decision was released on August 4, 2010:

Proposition 8 fails to advance any But in the November 4th election rational basis in singling out gay men that year, 52% of those voting passed and lesbians for denial of a marriage Proposition 8 in an attempt to prevent license. Indeed, the evidence shows future same-gender marriages and Proposition 8 does nothing more than revoke the rights of the same-gender enshrine in the California Constitution couples just newly wed. The American Perry v. Schwarzenegger seeks to the notion that opposite-sex couples Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, and the National Center for Lesbian overturn this decision in the belief that are superior to same-sex couples. Rights charged that Proposition 8, in it violates the equal protection clause Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and attempting to prevent marriage for a of the U.S. Constitution. lesbians, and because Proposition 8 targeted group, was not just; and that prevents California from fulfilling its radical changes to state government constitutional obligation to provide principles cannot occur through Katami and Jeffrey Zarrillo in Los Angeles simple majority vote and initiative - such County were denied marriage licenses marriages on an equal changes must begin with the legislature. because they are same-gender couples. The basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 couples filed a case claiming that Proposition is unconstitutional.

2009- 2010

In May 2009, Kristin Perry and Sandra Steir in Alameda County, California, and Paul

8 violates the U.S. Constitution by denying same-gender couples equal protection under the law, and on January 11, 2010, Perry v. Schwarzenegger opened in San Francisco, in

However, Judge Walker also issued a stay. He gave both sides until August 6th to submit arguments on whether his ruling should be suspended during the appeals process.  But on August 12, another decision was made. Judge Walker had been unconvinced by Proposition 8 proponents that the ban  should remain in place while they appealed. Beginning on August 18th at 5pm,  California’s ban on same-sex marriage would be lifted. “An injunction against enforcement of Proposition 8 is in the public’s interest,” he said. His order allowing Proposition 8 to stand for the additional week was to give the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals a chance to review his order. Two days before the marriages could once again take place, that court issued a hold on Judge Walker’s August 4th decision, claiming that the prohibition on same-sex marriages would remain intact until a three-judge panel can begin wrestling with an appeal later this year. The case will not be taken up again until the week of December 6, 2010.

Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 19

Volume 5, Issue 2  

Autumn/Winter 2010

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