California Supreme Court upholds marriage vote

California’s Supreme Court has upheld the result of the majority-backed referendum which protected the definition of marriage in the state.

However, the court also ruled that the 18,000 ‘gay marriages’ which took place before the ban will remain legal.

Supporters of same-sex marriage reacted angrily to the court’s decision, waving placards at the Supreme Court building and blocking traffic in central San Francisco.

Mindful of past violent protests by supporters of ‘gay marriage’, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appealed to demonstrators to behave “peacefully and lawfully”.

Last November a 52 per cent majority of California’s citizens voted to amend the state constitution to protect the definition of marriage.

The amendment, known as “Proposition 8”, was drafted in response to a Supreme Court decision the previous May which held that California’s state constitution permitted homosexual couples to marry.

A majority of voters backed Proposition 8, and the constitution now includes the phrase: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California”.

In yesterday’s six-to-one decision, California’s seven Supreme Court judges rejected ‘gay rights’ lawyers’ claims that Proposition 8 was an illegal revision to the constitution.

The majority opinion of the judges, written by Chief Justice Ronald George and signed by four other justices, says: “In a sense, petitioners’ and the Attorney General’s complaint is that it is just too easy to amend the California Constitution through the initiative process.

“But it is not a proper function of this court to curtail that process; we are constitutionally bound to uphold it.”

Supporters of Proposition 8 welcomed the Court’s decision.

Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute called it “a victory for the civil rights of clergy, county clerks and Californians across the political spectrum who did not want to be forced by the government to approve of same-sex marriage”.

However, ‘gay rights’ activists stood on the steps of the Supreme Court building chanting “Shame on you”, and lead plaintiff Jeannie Rizzo warned: “Our fight is far from over.”

Homosexual campaigners have said they will try to overturn Proposition 8 by forcing another statewide vote, this time to amend the constitution to affirm ‘same-sex marriage’.

This could take place as early as 2010, and activist groups have already started raising money, broadcasting ads and recruiting volunteers.

Related Resources