Proposition 8 was a measure put on California’s election ballot on November 4, 2008 that gave voters the opportunity to either amend the California State Constitution or prevent a change from happening. To vote “Yes” on Prop 8, one would be in favor of adding the phrase “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California” otherwise known as the “California Marriage Protection Act”. To vote “No” on Prop 8, one would be against the initiative. Ultimately, 52.3% of California’s voters voted “Yes” on the initiative, resulting in an amendment to the California State Constitution. The history of controversial Proposition 8 includes many influential people, various groups of Californian citizens, the involvement of the California Supreme Court, and now the proposition has reached the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. This paper will discuss the various aspects and factors involved with the outcome that Proposition 8 ultimately reached.
One of the individuals that directly involved with the controversy of same-sex marriage was former Mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom. On February 12, 2004, Mayor Newsom defied the “California’s Defense of Marriage Act” of 2000 (AKA Proposition 22), by ordering the county clerk to revise the marriage forms and issue same-sex marriage licenses (Taylor 865-890). The next day two conservative groups, the Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Campaign for California Families, filed a court action to stop the marriages from being performed. The preceding accounts directly affected the homosexual community by denying them the right to a legal marriage that was available to heterosexual couples only. Historically when couples marry they receive government-sanctioned rights and entitlements like the right to file a joint bankruptcy petition or benefit from employers who offer the spouses of their employee’s medical coverage (Ponce 1539-48). On the other hand, according to...
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