Proposition 8

  On June 26, 2013, in a victory for the freedom to marry, the Supreme Court dismissed Hollingsworth v. Perry, declaring that the proponents of Proposition 8 lack legal standing to appeal the lower court rulings that have already invalidated Prop. 8. The historic ruling makes permanent the August 2010 Federal District Court ruling that found Prop. 8 unconstitutional and will result in the swift restoration of the freedom to marry in California, making the state the thirteenth (plus Washington, D.C.) where same-sex couples can marry. After marriage is restored in California, nearly one third of the U.S. population - more than 93 million Americans - will live in a state where same-sex couples can marry.

Now, with the victory in the Perry case building on the momentum for marriage, we will continue working to win the freedom to marry in more states, fully end federal marriage discrimination, and increase our broad-based, bipartisan majority support for marriage across the country. With that work, we can set the stage for a return before the Supreme Court soon to finish the job. 

The Hollingsworth v. Perry (formerly Perry v. Brown) case dated back to May 2009, when the American Foundation for Equal Rights filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to challenge the constitutionality of Proposition 8. AFER filed on behalf of two same-sex couples - Kris Perry & Sandy Stier and Jeff Zarrillo & Paul Katami, who filed for marriage licenses and were denied in California in 2009 because of Proposition 8. Learn more about the plaintiffs at AFER

On August 4, 2010, Judge Vaughn Walker found Prop 8 to be unconstitutional and discriminatory, writing, "California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians." Proponents of Prop 8 appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 

On February 7, 2012, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed Judge Walker's ruling, stating, "Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples. The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Court granted certiorari in December 2012. Oral arguments for the case were heard on Tuesday, March 26, 2013. 

The victory in the Supreme Court case - the dismantling of Proposition 8 - restored the freedom to marry to California.

Learn more about the Supreme Court's rulings in Proposition 8 and the other landmark marriage case - Windsor v. United States - HERE. 

Read the Transcript HERE 

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Today, the Supreme Court of the United States announced its decisions in two landmark cases concerning the freedom to marry - including in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the legal challenge to Proposition 8, the 2008 California ballot initiative that stripped same-sex couples of the freedom to marry the person they love.

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