The high court will weigh whether the state can have a constitutional amendment restricting marriage to a man and a woman.
Lea Suzuki, San Francisco Chronicle/AP/File
The Proposition 8 case stems from a dispute over how marriage is to be defined in the constitution and laws of California.
In 2008, faced with efforts to legalize same-sex marriage, a group of voters began collecting signatures for a referendum – Prop. 8 – to amend the state constitution to restrict marriage to one man and one woman.
Three weeks after Prop. 8 qualified for the November ballot, the state high court rejected the traditional definition of marriage and ruled that the state constitution required recognition of same-sex marriage. Between June and November 2008, the state issued 18,000 marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
In November, Californians adopted Prop. 8 by a 52 percent to 48 percent margin. After the vote, two same-sex couples filed a lawsuit charging that Prop. 8 violated their right under the US Constitution to marry regardless of sexual orientation.