The California Supreme Court has issued its decision on Prop 8. The proposition has been upheld, but existing gay marriages will stand. I’ll update when more details are available. It’s impossible to connect to the court’s website right now.
UPDATE: It appears that the court has determined that Prop 8 is not a ‘revision’ to the California constitution, but simply an amendment. The legal difference is lost on me, but clearly the court is not ruling on the issue of gay marriage at all, but only on the ability to amend the constitution by petition. Here is a small excerpt of the 186 page decision:
Taking into consideration the actual limited effect of Proposition 8 upon the preexisting state constitutional right of privacy and due process and upon the guarantee of equal protection of the laws, and after comparing this initiative measure to the many other constitutional changes that have been reviewed and evaluated in numerous prior decisions of this court, we conclude Proposition 8 constitutes a constitutional amendment rather than a constitutional revision. As a quantitative matter, petitioners concede that Proposition 8 — which adds but a single, simple section to the Constitution — does not constitute a revision. As a qualitative matter, the act of limiting access to the designation of marriage to opposite-sex couples does not have a substantial or, indeed, even a minimal effect on the governmental plan or framework of California that existed prior to the amendment. [snip]
We agree with petitioners that the state constitutional right to equal protection of the laws unquestionably represents a long-standing and fundamental constitutional principle (a constitutional principle that, as we already have explained, has not generally been repealed or eliminated by Proposition 8). There are many other constitutional rights that have been amended in the past through the initiative process, however, that also are embodied in the state Constitution’s Declaration of Rights and reflect equally long-standing and fundamental constitutional principles whose purpose is to protect often unpopular individuals and groups from overzealous or abusive treatment that at times may be condoned by a transient majority. Neither the language of the relevant constitutional provisions, nor our past cases, support the proposition that any of these rights is totally exempt from modification by a constitutional amendment adopted by a majority of the voters through the initiative process.