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Prop 8 Stays Law, Says California Supreme Court, but 18,000 Gay Marriages Remain Legal

Prop 8 upheld by California Supreme Court
A protester sits during a protest after Prop 8 passes in the November 4th election (more photos here)
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A long awaited decision announced at 10 a.m. on Prop 8 and 18,000 already-married couples proved mostly a loss for the gay community. In a 6-1 vote, the California Supreme Court ruled that Prop 8 was indeed an amendment and therefore remains law, meaning gay marriage in the state is illegal. However, as expected by many, the 18,000 couples who married during the Rainbow Window last year will remain legally married (the full ruling is embedded below).

Five states, Maine, Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut and Vermont, have already have approved gay marriage. A draft proposition is already in the works to undue California's Prop 8 on a future election ballot.

It was just over a year ago when the California Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, saying the state's constitution protects the fundamental "right to marry," including gay couples. But opponents, already prepared for that ruling, had already begun a campaign to put a gay marriage ban proposition on the 2008 November Ballot to change the state's constitution. That became Proposition 8 and a long battle of advertisements and debates ensued until it was passed by voters, pulling ahead by nearly 5 points. Three challenges against Prop 8 were brought forth and in March, the Supreme Court Justices heard arguments from both sides. Today was the outcome of that hearing and the deliberations made behind closed doors.

Today, thousands of people will gather around the country today to protest the decision and on Saturday, Fresno will become ground center for those rallies.