The Supreme Court essentially let stand a lower court ruling against California's Prop. 8 ban on same-sex marriage. Given shifting public attitudes, Prop. 8 seems unlikely to have another political life.
Reactions to the US Supreme Court’s action on California’s Proposition 8 ballot measure defining marriage as one man and woman under the state constitution came quickly and sharply – rejoicing on the one hand, bitter denunciation on the other.
For now, at least, same-sex couples will again be allowed to marry in California, likely within days. Less likely, given the high court’s action Wednesday and the trend in public attitudes, is a repeat of the ballot measure that sharply divided the state and led to a drawn-out legal battle.
Proponents of Prop. 8 seemed stunned by the US Supreme Court action, which essentially let a US District Court ruling against the measure stand after finding that the case was improperly before the high court. The justices sent the case back to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth District in San Francisco with instructions for that court to reject the Prop. 8 proponents' appeal "for lack of jurisdiction."
"In a miscarriage of justice the US Supreme Court has refused to consider the decision of a single federal court judge to overturn the perfectly legal action of over 7 million California voters who passed Proposition 8 defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman," said Brain Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, the biggest contributor to putting Prop. 8 on the ballot. "The Supreme Court's holding that proponents of an initiative had no legal right to appeal ignores California law and rewards corrupt politicians for abandoning their duty to defend traditional marriage laws.”
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