In November 2008, California voters passed Proposition 8 by a 52 percent vote, eliminating the right of same-sex couples to marry. Soon after, two same sex couples, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, took the ruling to a court of appeals. For the past four years the debate has drawn a line of proponents and opponents After a 2-1 vote Tuesday morning, judges ruled that the amendment is in fact unconstitutional, violates equal protect rights, and violates the due process clauses of the state constitution.
"The people may not employ the initiative power to single out a disfavored group for unequal treatment and strip them, without a legitimate justification, of a right as important as the right to marry," the panel majority said. As gay couples and supporters cheered in the streets of Los Angeles in favor of the ruling, opponents like ProtectMarriage.com vowed to appeal the case to the 9th Circuit. Although the overturn is big step in the same-sex marriage fight, it does not change the definition of legal marriage in California as only between a man and a woman.
Luckily, marriages were upheld for the estimated 18,000 couples who received marriage licenses in the four-month window before Proposition 8 took effect. Only six states allow same-sex marriage: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, and the District of Columbia.
What does this ruling mean for other states that previous voted on similar amendments?