California Proposition 8
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California Proposition 8, aptly known as "Proposition Hate,"
is was a proposed state constitutional amendment passed by the voters of California on November 4, 2008, defining marriage as between a man and a woman. The passage of Proposition 8 effectively ended same-sex marriage in California for the time being, which had been legal since the state Supreme Court struck down California's statutory ban on same-sex marriage on May 15, 2008.
The Mormon church was heavily involved in funding and promoting the "Yes on 8" campaign. As a result there have been several calls for the revocation of the Mormon Church's tax-exempt status, though the involvement of religious groups on both sides of the initiative was prominent.
At least one of the "Vote Yes on Proposition 8" TV ads they backed used an odd scare tactic: "If same-sex marriage is legal, our kids will have to learn about same-sex marriage in school!" The horror!
On May 26, 2009, it was announced that the California Supreme Court upheld the proposition, but, at the same time, still recognized the 18,000 same-sex marriages performed in California prior to the ban. 
On August 4, 2010, a Federal District Court overturned the amendment in the case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger. If the case is appealed up the system, it could become the "Roe v. Wade of same-sex marriage."
On February 7, 2012, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for Ninth Circuit upheld the District Court's decision on appeal by a 2-1 vote.
On December 7, 2012, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to hear the case and heard oral arguments on March 26, 2013. The justices appeared to focus largely on the question of whether or not the groups which sponsored Prop 8 have standing to defend the law when the state has refused to do so.
A decision is expected in June 2013 Apparently some gay couple getting married in the state does not constitute enough of "an injury that affects him in a 'personal and individual way'" for the petitioners to have standing. As such, the lower court ruling is upheld.
Effects of ruling
With the upholding the ruling of the lower courts, Proposition 8 is effectively dead, allowing gay marriage to resume in California. Right on cue, many, mainly Republicans, angered at the ruling and gutting of the Defense of Marriage Act by the Supreme Court, resulted in anger at the state refusing to continue imposing their will on others as well as having the audacity to overrule mob rule that sought to take away people's rights.
A notable example occurred almost immediately after the rulings when a group of Republican politicians, including
the Wicked Witch of Minnesota Minnesota representative Michele Bachmann, held a press conference to reply to the court's ruling. As expected, they thumped the Bible as justification for their homophobia and showed their usual dislike of how functional representative republics are supposed to operate in guaranteeing human rights. Not many people bothered to show up in person, especially the media as not many reporters showed up to cover the conference; that's very likely because a group of people with opposing sexual orientations rightfully gaining back their natural rights was an apparently bigger story to report on.
The Perry v. Schwarzenegger decision resulted in many state restrictions on same-sex marriage being challenged in every U.S. state. Despite its previous history of legislative defeat, same-sex marriage was consistently upheld as a fundamental right based on the logic of the Perry decision and the United States v. Windsor (another court case which overturned components of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act).
As to be expected, such conflicts from Prop 8's death and the fights stemming for it resulted in gay marriage coming right back to the Supreme Court in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges. In a 5-4 ruling, on June 26, 2015, the majority ruling held it was unconstitutional to deny gay couples the right to be married officially ending the saga of Prop 8 on a happy note.
Further and even more bloody hair ripping, foot stamping and bible thumping by gay marriage opponents followed.
- Mormons face flak for backing Prop. 8, SF Gate
- This 2008 ad, now hosted on YouTube, at 1:07 in.
- California Upholds Gay Marriage Ban, ABC News
- Full Court of Appeals ruling
- Justices Flirt With Throwing Out Prop 8 Gay Marriage Case, TPM
- Full SCOTUS ruling
- Here's the full press conference if you're in the mood for a migraine.