A History of Same-Sex Marriage in California

When the Supreme Court arguments on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, it will mark one more step in a long legal battle to determine the ultimate disposition of the same-sex marriage ban.

Produced by KQED

President Obama Supports Same-Sex Marriage

In an interview with ABC News' "Good Morning America," President Obama officially came out in support of same-sex marriage.

District Judge Strikes Down Prop. 8

Federal District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker overturns Prop. 8. However, he allows the voter initiative to stay in effect pending appeal.

SF Marriages

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom permits same-sex marriages in San Francisco between Feb. 12 and March 11, asserting that the state constitution’s Equal Protection Clause gives him the authority. The weddings were halted by the California Supreme Court on March 11. About 4,000 couples had been issued marriage licenses, all of which were invalidated in August by the state supreme court.

Proposition 22

Proposition 22, known as the Knight Initiative, passes, restricting marriage to those between opposite-sex couples. The initiative adds Section 308.5 to the Family Code, which reads "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

A.B. 849

The state senate passes A.B. 849, eliminating the gender requirements for marriage. The state assembly passed it Sept. 6, but the next day, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced he would veto it.

Proposition 8 Qualifies for Nov. 2008 Ballot

While the state legislature is trying to pass laws overturning Prop. 22 that altered the state's Family Code, same-sex marriage opponents gather enough signatures to put Prop. 8 on the ballot, which changes the state constitution to only allow opposite-sex marriage.

Prop. 22 Goes to State Supreme Court

The California Supreme Court consolidates several cases into In re Marriage Cases, challenging Prop. 22. It rules that Prop. 22 violated the state constitution and was therefore invalid. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issues a statement pledging to uphold the ruling, and pledges to oppose Prop. 8.

Marriages Resume

Between the state supreme court overturning Prop. 22 and the passage of Prop. 8, about 18,000 same-sex marriage licenses were issued in California. These licenses were not invalidated.

Proposition 8 Passes

About 52 percent of California voters pass Prop. 8, which adds "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California," to the state constitution. Since the constitution supersedes the state civil code, same-sex marriage in California is once again banned.

California Supreme Court Upholds Prop. 8

Despite recently overturning Prop. 22, the California Supreme Court ultimately upholds the latest ban to same-sex marriage, Prop. 8. However, the court ruled that the marriages between more than 18,000 couples who were married in the time before Prop. 8 was passed remained valid.

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