In November 2008, 52.3 percent of California voters approved Proposition 8, which added language to the California Constitution that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. In May 2009, a California District Court ruled that Proposition 8 violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment and temporarily prohibited its enforcement, and the Ninth Circuit agreed, affirming the District Court’s ruling. The United States Supreme Court will now consider whether a state can define marriage solely as the union of a man and a woman, in addition to considering whether the proponents of Proposition 8 have standing to bring suit in federal court. The Court’s ruling will implicate the rights of gay men and lesbians, the role of the government in structuring family and society, and the relationship between the institution of marriage and religion and morality.
2. Whether petitioners have standing under Article III, §2 of the Constitution in this case.
1. Does a state violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by defining marriage solely as the union of a man and a woman?
2. Do the official proponents of a state ballot initiative have standing to appeal a judgment invalidating that initiative?
The authors would like to thank former Supreme Court Reporter of Decisions Frank Wagner for his assistance in editing this preview.
- CBS News, Jennifer De Pinto & Stephanie Condon: Poll: 51 percent support same-sex marriage (Nov. 30, 2012)
- The Inquisitr:President Obama Formally Asks Supreme Court To Strike Down Gay Marriage Ban (Feb. 23, 2013)
- National Catholic Reporter, Richard Wolf: Gay marriage opponents make their case to Supreme Court (Feb. 19, 2013)