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March 25th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

Proposition 8 and the road to the Supreme Court

By Jim Roope, CNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

Los Angeles (CNN) - This week the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments over the constitutionality of California’s ban on same-sex marriage; otherwise known as Proposition 8.

Robin Tyler and her wife Diane Olson became the first same-sex couple in California to legally marry there. Tyler calls Prop 8 the shot heard ‘round the world:

[0:31] “Because for the first time in American history they took people out of a Constitution.”

It all started with the passage of law in California in 2000 that restricted marriage only to opposite-sex couples. But in 2004, then San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, citing the equal protection clause of the U-S Constitution, ignored the new law and began marrying same-sex couples on Valentine’s Day:

[1:59] “I wanna stop discrimination," Newsom said at the time.

The weddings were stopped by the courts a month later and the marriages of 4000 same-sex couples were declared invalid.

Then in May of 2008, the California State Supreme Court ruled Proposition 22, unconstitutional. This lifted the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

Robin Tyler and Diane Olson went immediately back to the courthouse in Beverly Hills and were the first same-sex couple in state to get a legal marriage license and get married:

[3:46] “And we were not only declared the right to get married but we were also declared a suspect class which means a legitimate minority so you couldn’t discriminate in anything; totally equal in everything," Tyler says.

That summer, 18-thousand same-sex couples got married. Then in November, California voters passed Proposition 8. It was by a slim margin but it might as well have been a landslide. It was now a Constitutional amendment that marriage is only between a man and a woman. It did not, however, invalidate the same-sex marriages already performed that year.

The ninth circuit court of appeals then ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional, but same sex marriages are still on hold until the U.S. Supreme court weighs in later this summer.

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soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. matthew c

    God also gave us the Freedom of choice in one's own actions. Only god can judge and truthfully any god that would create a human being he set to fail from birth is not a god worth believing in. As any gay person will tell you they are born that way. To believe otherwise is naive.

    Furthermore the country was founded on the belief you should be able to worship whenever and however you like. Therefore we set forth to make sure our goverment stayed seperate from matters of the church. Anyone who says its not a matter of freedom or equality is sorely mistake about what freedom and equality means. Either that or they just say things to make themselves sound right .

    I am a straight married christian man.

    March 25, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. socialsaint

    LBGT individuals can still get married, they just have to marry someone of the opposite sex. That may sound harsh, but lots of people can't legally marry the person they choose (polygamists, young people, people whose desire to marry isn't reciprocated, and many others). Should polygamists also be granted equal protection under the law? What about 16 year olds? A line has to be drawn somewhere or government should get out of defining marriage altogether.

    March 25, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arrant

      You are an idiot.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bill Thompson

    This nation was founded under God and that is a stone hard engraved fact. With that being said same sex relationships not just marriage is a sin straight from the Bible. So many want to quote Leviticus 18:22 as being scripture that was translated incorrectly. The problem is that the topic was covered in many scriptures in the Bible not just Leviticus. Read all of Leviticus and I know even without 18:22, it's pretty clear that it's a woman used in every example of what not to do. The real issue is sin and we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. Lying, cheating, stealing and gay are all sins and equal in the eyes of God. If all sin then what is the question here because if it's all the same then what is the difference? The problem is the practice of sin which is a conscience decision to continue doing something that is in direct conflict with God. We are to flee from sin and ask forgiveness and not repeat the behavior of the sin. We are to communicate through prayer to Jesus for forgiveness and insight on how to avoid falling into sin. If we all read the scriptures daily we would know exactly what to do in every circumstance if we really wanted to acknowledge Christ and live the life we were intended to.

    March 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • JT

      Completely incorrect. American was founded on religious freedom. Nowhere in the Constitution mentions any god of any sort.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karl Schneider

      God(s)..all of them are figments of fevered human imagination and your Bible is an offensive piece of obscenity.
      No intelligent person puts any stock in religion these days. http://www.godisimaginary.com

      March 25, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jesus Freak!

    The Democrats of today cannot claim to be the historic pioneers of the emancipation of slaves, nor of women’s rights: their entire history is devoid of the pursuit or defense of freedom. So in recent years, Democrats have hijacked traditionally conservative values and achievements, specifically “civil rights” and “freedom.” This was not only to gain more power and influence among the populace, but to cloak one cause in particular – gay marriage. This has led conservatives to believe gay marriage is a conservative cause because it promotes freedom. This has also led Americans to believe that gay rights are akin to civil rights by conflating the black struggle during the civil rights movement to the homosexual’s struggle for gay marriage.

    Only, the civil rights struggle and the “struggle” for gay marriage are incomparable, and gay marriage does NOT promote freedom.

    Article link: http://thelastcivilright.org/2013/03/22/gay-marriage-is-not-a-conservative-cause-2/

    March 25, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karl Schneider

      I expel my bowels in the face of your dead god on a stick and there is nothing you or it can do about that.

      March 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |