Season Preview: Lesbian and Gay Rights at the Supreme Court—Part 2

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September 18, 2012

This is the second part of a three-part series. Part 1 is here.

The Prop 8 Case

In addition to the DOMA challenges, the U.S. Supreme Court has also been asked to review the Prop 8 case, Hollingsworth v. Perry, formerly known as Perry v. Brown. This case, brought by the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies on behalf of two same-sex couples in California, is a challenge to Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to exclude same-sex couples from marriage.

The federal court of appeals in California has already declared Prop 8 unconstitutional, ruling that, because Prop 8 did not repeal California's comprehensive domestic partnership law, the state had no legitimate reason to take the right to marry away from same-sex couples and relegate them to an unequal, inferior status.

If the Court accepts the case for review, we will all have to wait for oral arguments and the Court’s decision, which likely would be issued by June 2013, to know the outcome.

But if the Court declines to hear the case it will be over and the prior federal court decision striking down Prop 8 will stand. If that happens, the freedom to marry will be restored in California! Same-sex couples will be able to marry again there, but the decision will have no immediate, direct impact on the marriage laws of other states.

Next: Part 3—Equal Benefits for Arizona State Employees

Previously: Prop 8 Update—Will Marriages Be Back in California Soon?