Well, it was expected. But it’s still crushing. From the Los Angeles Times a few minutes ago:
The justices uphold the same-sex marriage ban but also rule that the 18,000 gay couples who wed before the November vote will stay married. The decision is sure to spark another ballot box fight.
By Maura Dolan
10:08 AM PDT, May 26, 2009
Reporting from San Francisco — The California Supreme Court today upheld Proposition 8’s ban on same-sex marriage but also ruled that gay couples who wed before the election will continue to be married under state law.
The decision virtually ensures another fight at the ballot box over marriage rights for gays. Gay rights activists say they may ask voters to repeal the marriage ban as early as next year, and opponents have pledged to fight any such effort. Proposition 8 passed with 52% of the vote.
Although the court split 6-1 on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the justices were unanimous in deciding to keep intact the marriages of as many as 18,000 gay couples who exchanged vows before the election. The marriages began last June, after a 4-3 state high court ruling striking down the marriage ban last May.
In an opinion written by Chief Justice Ronald M. George, the state high court ruled today that the November initiative was not an illegal constitutional revision, as gay rights lawyers contended, nor unconstitutional because it took away an inalienable right, as Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown argued.
Only Justice Carlos R. Moreno, the court’s sole Democrat, wanted Proposition 8 struck down as an illegal constitutional revision.
I have no doubt there will be protests and rallies. I have no doubt that same-sex marriage will eventually be legal in California. But I feel for all those who will suffer because of this.
I’ll have more considered thoughts later.