Court: California same-sex marriage fight can continue
Supporters and opponents of banning same-sex marriage in California clashed in front of a courthouse last year.
November 17th, 2011
01:48 PM ET

Court: California same-sex marriage fight can continue

By Bill Mears, CNN

(CNN) - A complex legal fight over the constitutionality of same-sex marriage is back on track after California's highest court on Thursday allowed an appeal over a controversial ballot initiative to move ahead in federal court.

At issue is Proposition 8, a voter-approved measure that would recognize marriage only between one man and one woman. A federal judge had earlier struck down the law as a violation of equal protection, prompting an appeal to a higher court.

The sticking point was who would defend "Prop 8" in court, after the state's top officials– including the governor and attorney general– refused to do so. A federal appeals court had asked the California Supreme Court to weigh in and decide whether supporters of the law - called the "official proponents" - could take the place of state officials.

In its ruling Thursday, the state high court said yes.

"Neither the governor, the attorney general, nor any other executive or legislative official has the authority to veto or invalidate an initiative measure that has been approved by the voters," said the court's majority. "It would exalt form over substance to interpret California law in a manner that would permit these public officials to indirectly achieve such a result by denying the official initiative proponents the authority to step in to assert the state's interest in the validity of the measure or to appeal a lower court judgment invalidating the measure when those public officials decline to assert that interest or to appeal an adverse judgment."

The initiative was approved by voters in 2008.

soundoff (720 Responses)
  1. total non sense

    of cource this 100% the fault of religion (all of them). so a proposition to only accept REAL FACT as real, remove alll reference to god or religion from our laws, will instantly solve the problem. Religion is a illness, ans need to be treated as such.

    November 21, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • BR

      I say AMEN to that

      November 21, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  2. leni

    Pardon, I meant vocal MINORITY, obviously!

    November 21, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  3. leni

    Look, this was already put to a vote, and the majority has spoken! Just because a vocal majority doesn't like the outcome, don't let the court system overrule what the people have indicated they want.

    November 21, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  4. Plug1


    November 21, 2011 at 6:29 am | Report abuse |
    • krisnajo

      traditionally marriage was to create a contract between two adults. The "church" did not enter into the "custom" until oughly 150 years ago when the ability to receive a profit. Now I am not picking on any specific sect I just happen to know that unless you had a specific amount of money you were not going to be married by a catholic priest. ( I know how silly is it to have a celebate create a lasting "marriage" when the sole purpose is procreation?) I say let any fool who wants to enter into marriage do so...(and yes I am married and happily so)

      November 21, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  5. endthehate

    You sound like a great mom with a great kid. Hugs for both of you.

    November 21, 2011 at 4:33 am | Report abuse |
    • sue

      as i wipe away my tears, thank you.

      November 21, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jesus

    Who cares who you choose to be with as long as real love is present.

    November 20, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jesus

    Meanwehile they've done the bidding of their banking, insurance, and oil interest puppeteers.

    November 20, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Gays make me puke

    At least bob you would have a family tree unlike gays whose families disown them

    November 20, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Flick

    Trees cannot sign legal contracts. Don't bring up this stupid anecdote again.

    November 20, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mabel floyd

    in a state were over half of the straight marriages fail i think the churches should "cure" their marriage "problem" before tackling and butting into a "problem" they know nothing about. churches love to butt into people's lives and make money from things they have proclaimed "problems"-
    without the hate and strife they are able to stir up they would not have the money stream from the indignation they proclaim from the pulpit in the name of god. i am sure the real God is disgusted by their hypocrisy.

    November 20, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dragonwind

    I always wondered why people would claim we have Equal Rights in this country, while at the same time, denying people equal rights in this country. Hypocrite, they name is United States.

    November 20, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul K.

      Explain to me why a group of people who obviously are so proud to be different, will not use a different terminology? Is it that the only personal and private lives open to outside control are the Christian's?

      November 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dragonwind

    Start over, please... and leave me out next time.

    November 20, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. cupcake

    In this day and age, marriage between any two individuals of any gender is pretty much a farce, since approximately half end in divorce. Then there is the celebrity "speed marriage" debacle, as demonstrated by Kim Karda$hian. It should be civil unions for all, since marriage falsely implies some kind of deep, religious conviction which few if any people have anymore. The ideology of "marriage" is outdated, and no longer relevant – for anyone.

    November 20, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      Not a workable idea. The whole point of a state-issued marriage license is to serve as a legal contract that extends specific rights and responsibilities to the parties involved. It specifies important matters like chains of inheritance; child custody; joint property rights and a host of other legal matters that an agreement between individuals simply cannot handle.

      What you're describing, in fact, is the act performed by many churches, also called marriage. It extends social recognition but provides no legal framework.

      November 20, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • be

      Actually it is workable. It would just require straight couples to do what gay couples currently do.....get a lawyer and draw up contractual agreements that are binding in life and death.

      November 20, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rodboy

      Cupcake , this is all about money, taxes, insurance , wills and such. You are right nobody really views matrimony seriously today.

      November 20, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • james

      Cupcake – why are you pushing such a fascist agenda that requires only 2 people belong in a marriage?

      Why not 3 or 4?

      Why are you pushing your religious agenda on the rest of us.

      November 21, 2011 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
      • SciFiChickie

        I agree the Christian's always forget the Bible has marraige between 1 Man and his many wives, they always forget Solomon who had 700 wives, Abraham with his 2 wives, and his son Issaic who married 7 sisters in order to marry Racheal who he loved. If they are all consenting adults (age 18 or older), why the h3ll do people care what someone else is doing in their bedroom?

        November 21, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  14. be

    Interestingly enough, the person who authored DOMA is currently either on his third or his fourth marriage. I guess DOMA was meant to codify that marriage is between one man and one woman at a time. The straight community could learn something from the gay community about marriage and family: marriage should be more about what is in our hearts rather than what is between our legs....and that family is more about uniting people in a loving and nurturing relationship than uniting a sperm with an egg. If we could just learn THAT from this debate we should be eternally indebted to the gay community. Dostoevsky once wrote, "God knows the truth, but waits." Maybe this is a case of God just waiting until we were ready to hear this message!

    November 20, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Robert Dupuy

      Because all gay unions are for life? And involve only one partner at a time? What crack are you smoking?

      November 20, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
      • Mark

        Mine is. One spouse, partners for life.

        November 20, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • be

        Well....if you look at the statistics of those who have entered into gay marriages compared to straight marriages, the gay divorce rate is significantly less than ours! Maybe that will change in the future when it is considered the norm and they start taking it for granted like the rest of us. And we are the ones that are making this a gender/genital issue....the gays have been putting it in the context of love and commitment.

        November 20, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Creaturz

      Since you all like to invoke god so much, please show were god says it is good to carnally love another of the same gender?

      November 20, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
      • MarkInPDX

        Which god says it's not? Oh, you mean the fairy tale, big man in the sky god?

        November 20, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • be

        Well, Jesus never condemned it at all! You would think if he thought it were that bad he might have mentioned it at least once. Oh wait.....He was the one that hung around 12 other guys one of whom was singled out as the "one whom Jesus loved" (hmmmmmm.....did he hate all the rest, or was there a "special" relationship there. Maybe he DID have something to say about the topic.

        November 20, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mike

    Prop 8 won by over 50% of the voters

    November 20, 2011 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
    • be

      Popular vote has rarely pushed civil right forward.....it has historically required legislation. With the increased approval rating over the last 1-2 years, this initiative will probably even win by popular vote soon.

      November 20, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
      • be

        oh, and btw, what I mean by "win" is that gay marriage is accepted on a federal level – not just in a few states.

        November 20, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
      • Tom S.

        Great point! This is one instance when the term "tyranny of the majority" applies.

        November 20, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Flick

      I bet keeping segregation would have passed with over 50% of the vote in the mid 60's South. What is your point?

      November 20, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • be

        my point is exactly that......legislation, rather than the common vote, needs to grant equality to all.

        November 20, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • BobRoss

        What's the point of having a referendum if it can just be overturned by the legislature? They're basically saying "let the people decide! ... Actually, they didn't vote the way we wanted. Let the legislature decide!"

        Why even put the issue up to popular vote if that's the way you're going to treat it?

        November 20, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • be

        totally agree Bob.....equal rights should never be optional. Therefore, it should never be up to the popular vote. We should always legislate justice.

        November 20, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesus

      Thank the evangelical right and Mormon money for the well run campaign to take advantage of fear, ignorance, and bigotry. I am a straight male who will always remember who the narrow minded hate mongers are in our country.

      November 20, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Raven

    Thanks, Joe, but I don't want to be in "Holy Matrimony" as I do not follow any organized religion. I'm happy being married to my husband, thanks.

    November 20, 2011 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |
  17. michael

    Disrespectful! To god and self!

    November 20, 2011 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  18. Fletch

    Let the 'mos get married. Who cares!!! With a 50% divorce rate, they're not going to screw it up anymore than it already is...

    November 19, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Mike

    The bottom line is I do not want gays to marry. Marrage is between a man and a woman, end of story. And DADT should not have been overturned.

    November 19, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • endthehate

      Well you may as well get over it because it will me a nation wide reality very soon and there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it.

      November 19, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • michael

        You are confused no one hates you ,We only hate that you have no respect for God, Marriage and self! Get over it you are trespassing and that's not cool! Stop trying to make it about you !

        November 20, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Casey

      The majority of Americans now support allowing gays to marry and the repeal of DADT. Time to come into the 21st century!

      November 19, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • JB

        Actually that is not true. In EVERY ballot initiative, gay marriage has been turned down. Only legislative movements have endorsed it. Time and again, the voters have said NO. Have your opinion, but at least state facts, not fiction.

        November 19, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rodney in Dallas

      Fine, then keep your religious marriage out of our government.

      November 19, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zayah

      What you want is only relevant if it harms you. If you wanna make laws based on what you want, then I want to make laws to have people like you shot. You can see how the way you want to do things just won't work right?

      November 19, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Mike

    The bottom line is I do not gays to marry. Marrage is between a man and a woman. And DADT should not have been overturned.

    November 19, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  21. JustWondering

    Is it possible to oppose gay marraige without opposing the existance of its practice? I think so. It's a moral issue for many and frankly that is ok. It is an issue of equal rights for others and that too is ok. Each decides for themselves. You can let this issue tear you apart or you can let it make you stronger in understanding.

    November 19, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkInPDX

      Until those decisions infringe on rights. Then it becomes a legal issue.

      November 20, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susie

      What you are proposing is a basic separation of church and state, a principle on which our country was founded. Yes, I agree with that. I'm not going to try to dictate another person's theology, and people have no business trying to trample on other people's civil rights.

      November 20, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  22. endthehate

    I just love people that don't know the Bible. Look this up:

    “This is the sin of Sodom; she and her suburbs had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not help or encourage the poor and needy. They were arrogant and this was abominable in God’s eyes.” Ezekiel 16:48-49

    November 19, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Give me a break

    That old statement is getting so old. True equality is coming whether people like it or not so you might as well get ready and accept it.

    November 19, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  24. be

    Actually, if you believe in a God who created all things then he actually created Adam, Eve, and Steve.

    November 19, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Do you really like old news

    This has been posted for a week now... Does CNN not have enough reporters? Is there no other news to report? This is gettig annoying with this site.

    November 19, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • be

      Why would they take it off? It still seems to be stimulating conversation.....even from you.

      November 19, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • halaluya

      Why bother to vote?

      November 19, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • rl24

        what do you mean? why would you think you get to vote on what other couples get to do while you get to enjoy that right? should i get to vote on whether or not you are allowed to get a job?

        November 20, 2011 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
      • SFC Mike

        If the ability to restrict or define marriage is your sole reason for voting, yes, why bother?

        November 20, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
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