What is LawBrain?
It's a living legal community making laws accessible and interactive. Click Here to get Started »

California Proposition 8

From lawbrain.com

Proposition 8 was a ballot initiative that modified California's constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage.

  • This LawBrain entry is a stub. Please help us expand it! Click the 'Edit' tab above to add to this page.



Proposition 8, also known as the California Marriage Protection Act, was a ballot initiative approved by a majority of California voters on November 4, 2008 that modified California's constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage.[1]


Gay marriage legislation is a contentious topic in the U.S., especially so in the state of California. There have been various legal and voter initiatives with regards to same-sex marriage.

In the case of Lockyer v. City and County of San Francisco,[2]  33 Cal.4th 1055 (2004) the Supreme Court of California held that because there was no judicial determination with regard to California's statutes that limited marriage to to be a union between a man and a woman as being unconstitutional, the 4,000 same-sex marriages performed in San Francisco were void due to the unlawful issuing of marriage certificated to same-sex couples by public officials.  At the time, California Family Code § 300 was in place, stating:

Marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between a man and a woman

With the In re Marriage Cases,[3] 43 Cal.4th 757 (2008), the Supreme Court of California ruled that limiting marriage to a union between a man and a woman to be a violation of the state Constitution. The court stated:

...[L]imiting the designation of marriage to a union “between a man and a woman” is unconstitutional and must be stricken from the statute, and that the remaining statutory language must be understood as making the designation of marriage available both to opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

From May 16, 2008 to November 5, 2008, marriage licenses were granted to same-sex couples in the state of California. 

Change to California's Constitution

On November 4, 2008, during the California General Election,  52.30% of the voters agreed to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in the state of California.[4]

Article I, Section 7.5 was added to the California Constitution:[5]

Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

Resulting Lawsuit

Following California's November General Election, a lawsuit,  Perry v. Schwarzenegger, was filed in 2009 by two homosexual couples against California government officials and supporters of California's Proposition 8. In 2010, a federal court judge ruled that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, violating the Due Process and the Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.[6] An appeal was filed with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.[7]


  1. http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/sov/2008_general/
  2. http://fl1.findlaw.com/news.findlaw.com/wp/docs/glrts/lckyrsf81204opn.pdf
  3. http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/californiastatecases/s147999.pdf
  4. http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/sov/2008_general/sov_complete.pdf
  5. http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/const-toc.html
  6. http://blogs.findlaw.com/courtside/2010/08/judge-overturns-californias-proposition-8.html
  7. http://blogout.justout.com/?p=20392

External Links

Related Resources on FindLaw

Related Blogs on FindLaw

Failed to load RSS feed from http://search.yahooapis.com/WebSearchService/rss/webSearch.xml?appid=yahoosearchwebrss&query=proposition+8%20site:blogs.findlaw.com!

                                                                            Web Services by Yahoo!

See Also


FindLaw Michelle