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wundayatta's avatar

Prop 8, California's Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Declared Unconstitutional. Is there any reason to take notice yet?

Asked by wundayatta (58349 points ) February 7th, 2012

Hasn’t this been going on forever? Prop 8 works its way through the court system and no matter what side you’re on (and no matter the gender of the person on the other side), is there any reason to get out of bed now?

Would it help to send certain issues straight to the Supreme Court? Is there any reason to have all these interim decisions when everyone knows they mean nothing?

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12 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

The proponents of Proposition 8 have already stated they will appeal. Since a lower court has ruled on the matter, it can now be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court has several options. It can refuse to hear the case, upholding the lower court’s decision. It can send the case back to the lower court for review, or it can hear the case and make a ruling itself.

In any event, today’s decision is a victory for equal rights. This is the second time in a row that a federal court has ruled Prop. 8 unconstitutional. It is also important because the appellate court ruled that the fact the first judge to hear it was gay was not a valid reason to throw out the case.

“Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California,” the court said.

YARNLADY's avatar

I read that it goes on to the Supreme Court now. Whether they agree to hear it or not is the next question. It’s still all up in the air.

Judi's avatar

I hope it doesn’t make it to the Supreme Court until Obama gets a chance to appoint a couple of new justices.

tinyfaery's avatar

Meh. It really doesn’t matter until SSM is protected by the federal government. In CA, a same-sex marriage is no different than a domestic partnership; we won’t gain any
rights.

YARNLADY's avatar

In California, most of the benefits are the same, but there are a few significant differences:

In order for a domestic partnership to be issued, the members must share a common residence. This is not required in order to marry.

Both partners must be 18 years old or older, whereas in a marriage it is possible to receive an underage marriage license.

A man and a woman may also receive a confidential marriage license, which is not on public record and requires no witnesses, whereas domestic partners can’t obtain a confidential license.

Domestic partnership rights are not portable from state to state within the United States, as marriages are.

Domestic partnership is not a federal benefit, so couples cannot apply for green card status for the non-citizen partner as married couples can. Domestic partnerships do not carry any kind of status that would allow a U.S citizen to marry another citizen into the U.S.

A domestic partner is not automatically considered the parent of a child the other partner gives birth to or adopts, as is the case with marriage.

Domestic partners can only inherit if there is a will or wills stipulating that each partner should inherit the other’s property. In this case, they are subject to taxes that a marriage-based inheritance is not subjected to.

tinyfaery's avatar

There are only a handful of states that recognize SSM from other states.

CWOTUS's avatar

There’s no good, simple, cheap and quick way to circumvent the process, @wundayatta. This is a good case of what Churchill said about us more than a half-century ago: “You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing – after they have exhausted all of the other choices.” We’re just running through those other choices first. We’ll get to where we should be someday, but it’s going to take time because there are so many other choices to work through before we can get there.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Not really. Until the Supreme Court rules (or refuses to rule, as the case may be), this doesn’t really mean much, especially for people outside of California.

DominicX's avatar

So let’s see…this is like the sixth time they’ve flip-flopped? Can’t wait for it to flip-flop yet again!

I’m not trying to be pessimistic, but California doesn’t have a great track-record with this stupid proposition.

Brian1946's avatar

I hope the US Supreme Court expedites the implementation of full-marriage rights for same-sex couples in California by not taking the case.

Paradox25's avatar

It seems like a small victory for Proposition 8 opponents, and even then only for those who live in California. Personally, like the Civil Rights Act, I think that this is one of those issues where the federal government should override state laws and make every state allow gays/lesbians to legally marry since I consider this to be an issue about individual civil rights, not religion or states’ rights. Also there are legal consequences to being married that have nothing to do with religion, and that are not afforded to those who are together through civil unions. As long as there are legal consequences to being married then religion is nothing but a lame excuse to oppose gay marriage. I thought that California was a liberal state?!

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

I took notice, my vote doesn’t count for anything so I stopped voting.

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