Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary
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- Proposition 8
- A California ballot measure that ended the brief period in 2008 when same-sex marriage was legal in the state. Passed by voters in November 2008, Prop 8 amended the state's constitution to read "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." The California Supreme Court upheld the validity of Prop 8 in 2009, while also ruling that couples married between May and November of 2008 remained married. In January 2010 a California federal court took up a challenge to the law by same-sex couples and other proponents of same-sex marriage. In August 2010, Prop 8 was deemed unconstitutional in a decision by U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker. An appeal of this decision is already in the works -- the initial appeal goes to the Ninth Circuit federal court, but the last word in the case is likely to rest with the U.S. Supreme Court. Meanwhile, even though the legality of Prop 8 was struck down, same-sex marriages are on hold in California through December 2010, when the Ninth Circuit is expected to issue its ruling on the appeal.