U.S. Supreme Court to rule on Prop. 8 gay marriage ban

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court said it would rule on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, a ballot measure that banned gay marriage in the state.

Prop. 8 Demonstration
Proponents of same-sex marriage rally outside San Francisco City Hall in 2010 after a judge overturned the ban on gay marriage.

The court’s decision means that the fate of Proposition 8 remains in limbo for now.

Delores Jacobs, CEO of San Diego’s LGBT Community Center in Hillcrest, said the decision by the justices to accept the cases was historic.

“This is one of the most significant civil rights cases to reach the high court since Brown v. Board of Education, and provides an opportunity for the Supreme Court justices to affirm the promise of liberty and justice for all, and the Constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law,” Jacobs said. “Same-sex couples should no longer be subject to differing treatment under the law depending on what state they live or travel in.”

Jacobs said there is growing support for equal treatment of same-sex couples under the law.

The Proposition 8 case is named “Hollingsworth, Dennis, et al. v. Perry, Kristin, et al.” Hollingsworth is a former California state senator who represented portions of San Diego County until he was termed-out in 2010 and is a leader in protecting traditional marriage.

Perry, who married her partner in 2004, is a Berkeley resident.

The Supreme Court will likely hear oral arguments  in March with a ruling by late June.


The political, social, and legal stakes of this long-simmering debate will once again put the high court at the center of national attention, a contentious encore to its summer ruling upholding the massive health care reform law championed by President Barack Obama.

There are about approximately 120,000 legally married same-sex couples in the United States.

Earlier this month, voters in Maryland, Washington, and Maine approved same-sex marriage, adding to the six states and the District of Columbia that already have done so. Minnesota voters also rejected an effort to ban such unions through a constitutional amendment.

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