California judges uphold Prop 8

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by Andy Birkey| May 26, 2009 • The California Supreme Court released its opinion on Tuesday upholding Proposition 8, a controversial voter initiative that passed in November and ended the right of same-sex couples in California to marry. That right was extended by the same court in early 2008. While the court decided to retain the proposition today, they also ruled that the marriages of some 18,000 gay and lesbian couples performed in 2008 will remain legal.

Andy Birkey lives in Minneapolis. He is an LGBT community advocate and blogs on politcial, social, and community issues. Read his blog at Eleventh Avenue South

Despite the ruling, marriage-equality advocates vowed to press on, possibly taking the issue to the voters again in the next few years.

“Today’s ruling is a huge blow to Americans everywhere who care about equality. The court has allowed a bare majority of voters to write same-sex couples out of basic constitutional protections,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “This ruling couldn’t be more out of step with what’s happening across the country. We have no choice but to return this basic question of fairness for the estimated 1 million LGBT Californians back to the voters.”

The Log Cabin Republicans also vowed to continue working with California’s Republican elected officials to ensure marriage equality in that state.

“While we were defeated in this ballot initiative, our cause is right and just,” said Leonard M. Lanzi, president of California Log Cabin Republicans “We will continue to work with our allies in the Republican Party and across the political spectrum in California to educate voters that marriage equality is truly a conservative value, along the lines of strengthening individual freedoms, limiting the role of government in our daily lives and preserving personal responsibility.”

The Mormon Church, which spent millions of out-of-state funds to pass Prop 8, released a statement today, as well:

“Today’s decision by the California Supreme Court is welcome. The issue the court decided was whether California citizens validly exercised their right to amend their own constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. The court has overwhelmingly affirmed their action.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recognizes the deeply held feelings on both sides, but strongly affirms its belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman. The bedrock institution of marriage between a man and a woman has profound implications for our society.”

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