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

2000-03-07 00:00:00

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."

2004-02-12 00:00:00

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.

2005-09-01 00:00:00

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.

2008-05-15 16:09:42

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.

2008-06-02 00:00:00

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.

2008-06-16 07:36:32

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.

2008-11-04 00:00:00

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.

2009-05-26 15:38:23

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.

2010-08-04 10:34:32

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.

2010-08-06 18:08:37

State Officials Refuse to Back Prop. 8

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, State Attorney General Jerry Brown, and Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado refuse to defend Prop. 8, leaving Imperial County as the only government entity willing to defend the proposition.

2010-12-06 06:18:35

Ninth Circuit Court Hearing

The 9th Circuit Court hears two hours of arguments related to the case. The first hour is dedicated to whether Imperial County and Prop. 8 proponents have the right to pursue a lawsuit when state officeholders have refused to intervene.

2011-01-04 15:06:34

Appeals Court Punts to State Supreme Court

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rules that Imperial County does not having standing to pursue the case, and asks the California Supreme Court to decide whether initiative supporters have the right to continue the lawsuit. The court says that it cannot rule on the law’s constitutionality until the California Supreme Court decides on the standing issue.

2011-02-16 08:58:57

California Supreme Court Takes on Standing

The California Supreme Court agrees to take up the issue of standing and will decide whether the supporters of Proposition 8 have the right to continue to petition the court without state government support.

2011-11-17 02:51:20

Prop. 8 Backers Have Standing, Rules State Supreme Court

The California Supreme Court ruled that Prop. 8 proponents do have "standing" (the legal right to be a party to a lawsuit) to defend the measure in light of the fact that the attorney general and governor have declined to do so. The case then returns to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

2011-12-01 02:51:20

Oral Arguments on Prop. 8 Trial Video, Judge Vaughn Walker's Same-Sex Relationship

A 9th Circuit Court panel heard oral arguments on two ancillary issues in the long-running legal battle to decide the fate of Proposition 8: Whether to release the video from the Proposition 8 trial, in which Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that Prop 8 was unconstitutional; and whether Walker had a conflict of interest because he was a gay man in a long-term relationship.

2012-02-02 09:52:10

Trial Tapes Will Not be Made Public

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously reversed the decision of a lower court that made the trial tapes public.

2012-02-07 09:52:10

Ninth Circuit Rules Prop. 8 is Unconstitutional

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling invalidating Proposition 8.

2012-05-09 11:22:27

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.

2013-03-26 15:06:09

Supreme Court Hears Prop. 8 Oral Arguments

Supreme Court justices set a challenging tone early during the oral arguments on California's Proposition 8. The Justices questioned whether citizens have the right to defend a proposition if the state will not, whether either side could prove legal harm and when same-sex marriage became illegal.

2013-03-27 06:09:39

Supreme Court Hears DOMA Oral Arguments

U.S. Supreme Court justices heard arguments for almost two hours on the federal Defense of Marriage Act Wednesday morning. The court covered wide ground, once again spending a significant amount of time on the topic of standing.

2013-06-26 00:00:00

Supreme Court Rules on Prop. 8

In a 5-4 decision the Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marriage to resume in California.

2013-06-26 00:00:00

Supreme Court Rules on DOMA

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

2013-06-28 15:22:00

Appeals Court Lifts Order Blocking Same-Sex Marriage

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco issues a one-sentence order lifting a stay on the 2010 lower-court ruling that would clear the way for same-sex marriages to begin immediately throughout California: "The stay in the above matter is dissolved effective immediately."

A History of Same-Sex Marriage in California

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