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.