Proposition 8 | Both sides promising appeals

Proposition 8

Proposition 8 has elicited strong, emotional reactions on both sides. Image: Flickr/ProCommKelly

UPDATE: Proposition 8 has been ruled unconstitutional. Proponents of Prop 8 have asked a judge to immediately stay the 136-page decision, which calls for the immediate voiding of the amendment.

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker is slated to release his ruling today on Proposition 8. Prop 8 supporters have already sought a stay on the ruling if it is against them. Prop 8 opponents have vowed to appeal the ruling, should it go the other way. The things the ruling will affect range from civil rights to the California state budget.

The basics of Prop 8

In 2008, the California Marriage Protection Act, otherwise known as Prop 8, was passed by voters. The voter-added ballot proposition added a section to California law that stated that only marriage between a man and a woman is legal and recognized. When Proposition 8 passed, it overturned the California Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage. The campaign for Proposition 8 spent $39.9 million, while the campaign against Prop 8 spent $43.3 million.

The federal challenge to Proposition 8

The federal court challenge to Prop 8 has been argued in San Francisco. Perry v. Schwarzenegger was filed in federal court after the State Supreme Court upheld the voter initiative in Strauss v. Horton. Proponents of Proposition 8 argue that the amendment to the California constitution does not violate equal protection. Opponents to Proposition 8 are arguing that constitutional guarantee to equal protection is being violated.

The planned appeals to the Prop 8 decision

The reactions to the expected decision on Proposition 8 are already bubbling up. Supporters of Proposition 8 have filed an injunction, asking for a stay on marriage should the ruling be found against them. This would prevent further legal same-sex marriages from taking place while the case is under further legal review. Opponents to Proposition 8 have also said that if the ruling is against them, they intend to file further appeals. The millions of dollars spent on fighting Prop 8 in court are just the beginning, nationally. With a patchwork of same-sex marriage laws around the country, gay marriage is proving to be an economic boon for states that allow these legal unions.

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