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Prop 8: The Three Possible Outcomes of Today's Ruling

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UPDATE: The state's Supreme Court has announced their decision, you can read it here.


At 10 a.m., the California Supreme Court will announce their decision on Prop 8, a ballot initiative that banned gay marriage last November. Two questions will be answered: will Prop 8 be upheld or struck down and if the former, what is the fate of the 18,000 couples already married in the "Rainbow Window," between June of last year when gay marriage was legalized (by the same court) and November, when Prop 8 was passed by the voters. Basically, we're looking at three outcomes:

  • Prop 8 is upheld and the 18,000 marriages are invalidated.
  • Prop 8 is upheld, but the 18,000 marriages performed during the "Rainbow Window" stay legal.
  • Prop 8 is overturned, gay marriage would resume in California and the couples already married stay so.

That's the basis of it, but the crux of the decision should be based on technicalities, mainly if Prop 8 is a revision or amendment of the state constitution. Also, they will be deciding if marriage is an "inalienable" right that can't be taken away, a challenge put forth by Attorney General Jerry Brown.

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For a very in depth analysis, Calitics posted a guide to the Prop 8 hearing in March and the LA Times has a nice Q & A.