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.
1. Whether the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the state of California from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
2. Whether petitioners have standing under Article III, §2 of the Constitution in this case.