Prop 8 Declared Unconstitutional


The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage after the California Supreme Court had previously found that same-sex couples had the right to marry. You can find a link to the actual ruling at SCOTUSblog.

That doesn’t mean, however, that same-sex couples in California can start getting married again immediately. SCOTUSblog adds “The Circuit Court said its ruling would remain on hold until it issued the formal mandate to put the ruling into effect. In the meantime, the proponents of Proposition 8 have the option of asking the full Ninth Circuit Court to reconsider en banc Tuesday’s ruling.”

There’s also an expectation that an appeal to the Supreme Court is forthcoming.

Slate Jurisprudence Columnist Dahlia Lithwick is blowing up Twitter right now with the decision. No hashtag, so that link has a limited lifespan. She points out that Judge Reinhardt, who authored the opinion, keeps coming back to the principle that Prop. 8 eliminated a right the state had already granted, that the “only purpose and effect of Prop 8 was to lessen status and dignity of gays and lesbians in California.”

The 9th Circuit also “refused to invalidate [Judge Vaughn] Walker’s ruling on the grounds that he should have disclosed he was in a long term same-sex relationship.”

Brian Spears is Senior Poetry Editor of The Rumpus and the author of A Witness in Exile (Louisiana Literature Press, 2011). His poem “Upon Reading That Andromeda Will One Day Devour Triangulum and Come For Us Next” was featured in Season 9 of Motion Poems. More from this author →