California Proposition 8, the "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry" Initiative (2008)
Marriage and Family
|Not on ballot|
- 1 Election results
- 2 Background
- 3 After the election
- 4 Catholic Church tax assessment
- 5 Expensive campaign
- 6 Supporters of the amendment
- 7 Opposition to Proposition 8
- 8 Disputed impact on public education
- 9 Role of Prop 8 in presidential race
- 10 Polls
- 11 Path to the ballot
- 12 Boycott
- 13 Ballot title and language lawsuits
- 14 Related measures
- 15 See also
- 16 External links
- 17 References
- 18 Additional reading
Proposition 8, before it was declared null and void by the federal courts, created a new amendment to the California Constitution which said, "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." Before it passed, same-sex marriage was a constitutionally-protected right in California; a majority of the justices of the California Supreme Court affirmed this understanding of the constitution in May 2008.
The campaign over Proposition 8 was fiercely contested. In the aftermath of the vote, an intense focus on Proposition 8 continued with protests around the country and litigation focusing on many aspects of the initiative and campaign finance. Three lawsuits seeking to invalidate Proposition 8 were filed soon after the election; on November 19, the California Supreme Court announced it would consider these lawsuits. On May 26, 2009, the California Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the amendment.
See here for details on the lawsuit filed against the measure.
|California Proposition 8|
|Overturned Case:Hollingsworth v Perry No. 12–144|
Turnout: 79.4% of registered
California first explicitly defined marriage as a state between a man and woman in 1977. That year, the California State Legislature passed a law that said that marriage is a "personal relation arising out of a civil contract between a man and a woman." While no previous California legislation contained explicit language regarding sex or gender, California law prior to 1959 explicitly prohibited marriage between people of different races. Many other states prohibited interracial marriage until 1967, when the United States Supreme Court ruled this unconstitutional, in the case Loving v. Virginia.
In 2000, voters passed ballot initiative Proposition 22 with a margin of 61%, which changed California Family Code to formally define marriage in California between a man and a woman. Proposition 22 was a statutory change via the initiative process, not a constitutional change via the initiative process.
In 2004, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom performed same-sex marriages in his city, which were subsequently judicially annulled. This case, and some others, eventually led to a decision announced on May 15, 2008 of the California Supreme Court, which by a 4-3 vote struck down Proposition 22.
Prior to the May 2008 state supreme court decision, opponents of same-sex marriage had already begun their efforts to qualify Proposition 8 for the ballot. Their reasoning at the time was that since Proposition 22 was only a statute, it was subject to judicial review in a way that an amendment to the constitution would not be.
When supporters of Proposition 8 submitted their measure to the California Secretary of State in 2007 for permission to circulate, the ballot title that was given to it was the "California Marriage Protection Act." At that time, Proposition 22 was the governing law in the state with regard to gay marriage and the term "marriage protection" appears to have meant something like "adding additional protection to the idea of one man-one woman marriage by enshrining it in the constitution, not just as a statute." However, between the time that Proposition 8 got its original permission-to-circulate ballot title, and the time they turned in their signatures and became ballot certified, Proposition 22 no longer had any governing force. After the proposition was certified for the ballot, the title and summary were revised by Attorney General Jerry Brown to more "accurately reflect the measure." (See Lawsuits, California Proposition 8 (2008)).
After the election
Calif. Justices Weigh Gay Marriage Ban
- For main article, see Lawsuits, California Proposition 8 (2008).
- On May 26, 2009, the California Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Proposition 8. A central issue the state court considered were whether Proposition 8 is a state constitutional amendment, which can be passed by initiative, or a constitutional revision, which can't. The court upheld the approximately 18,000 same-sex marriages that took place in the state during the time that such marriages were deemed legal.
- In August 2009, federal judge Vaughn Walker set January 11, 2010 as the date when he will open a federal trial to decide whether or not Proposition 8 is unconstitutional under the U.S. Constitution.
- On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to rule on the constitutionality of the measure. The court instead dismissed the lawsuit saying the proposition's sponsors did not have legal standing to defend a state law in federal court if they could not show "concrete and particularized injury." Chief Justice Roberts said that the defendants had a political interest in reversing the district court's ruling on the measure rather than a legal one. He said, "Their only interest in having the District Court order reversed was to vindicate the constitutional validity of a generally applicable California Law. We have repeatedly held that such a generalized grievance, no matter how sincere, is insufficient to confer standing." The court decided that not only did it not posses the authority to rule on the case's merits, but neither did the Ninth Circuit. Therefore, the only legitimate federal ruling was Judge Walker's, the ruling that issued an injunction against the state's enforcement of the measure.
As a result, California is expected to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples within a month.
Move to repeal
- Main article: California Repeal of Proposition 8 (2010)
A measure supporting the repeal of Proposition 8 was introduced on the second day of the 2009-2010 legislative session. The repeal movement sponsored by Equality California and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) introduced measures that suggest Proposition 8 is an improper revision of the California State Constitution.
When the legislative session convened in January, Kevin De Leon introduced Assembly Bill 103, that would allow two people, including same-sex couples, who co-own a home to avoid having their property tax reassessed and raised when one dies. Sen. Mark Leno planned to re-introduce legislation that would designate each May 22 as Harvey Milk Day; a similar bill passed through the last legislative session but was vetoed by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Rallies protesting Proposition 8
Prop 8 protect near Mormon Temple, November 6
In the first days after the vote on November 4, protests and rallies were held in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego, Palm Springs, and San Francisco. Several different protests have taken place in front of the Mormon temple in Los Angeles. The weekend of November 15-16, rallies and gatherings protesting Proposition 8 were held in many states around the country.
Impact on married couples
Between June 15, 2008 and November 4, somewhere between 15,000-20,000 same-sex marriages took place in California. It was widely assumed that these marriages would remain valid after the victory of Proposition 8, since laws are rarely retroactive. In its May 2009 ruling, the California Supreme Court upheld the validity of these marriages.
Criticism of campaign management
One theme sounded in the weeks following the November election was discontent among those who opposed Prop 8 with how the anti-Prop 8 campaign was run. At the "Equality Summit 09," an event held in Los Angeles by same-sex marriage supporters on January 24 to strategize for future political success, discussion turned to how the campaign was conducted.
Specific criticisms were:
- The "No on 8" campaign ignored the gay and lesbian people behind the ballot measure, instead relying on professional consultants.
- Some accused the campaign of "wasting money, ignoring grassroots volunteers, and refusing to target African Americans, Latinos and people outside the state's urban centers."
- When someone suggested that the crowd at the event recognize that the leaders of the "No on 8" capaign did the best they could, half the crowd remained silent and seated, while the other half stood and cheered.
The Advocate, a national gay and lesbian newsmagazine, revealed after the November vote that key campaign leaders took summer vacations, which has led to criticisms. L.A. Gay & Lesbian head Lorri Jean, a key staffer, took a month-long vacation. Critic Michael Petrelis posted her salary on his blog in late November and said she was overpaid.
Catholic Church tax assessment
The Archdiocese of San Francisco was ordered to pay $15 million to the City of San Francisco in January 2009, on the grounds that property transfers among various Catholic organizations should be regarded as tax-generating business transactions. The Archdiocese objected, saying that similar internal transfers of assets have not resulted in other denominations being taxed. Some onlookers, such as Randy Thomassen of the Campaign of Children and Families, claimed that the $15 million bill was levied in retaliation for the church’s support of Proposition 8.
The campaign over Proposition 8 attracted very significant financial donations on both sides; by the time of the vote, over $70 million had been spent on the issue. Checks in the $1 million range were written to both campaigns from wealthy backers, and the campaigns also each had many tens of thousands of small donors. Of the 153 ballot measures on state ballots around the country, Prop 8 was the most expensive. It is also more expensive by far than any previous electoral contest over same-sex marriage.
Donors supporting Proposition 8
Some of the donors supporting Prop 8 were:
One group that opposed Proposition 8 focused attention on the contributions to the pro-Proposition 8 campaign from individuals who belong to the Mormon church. Contributions from Mormons were said to amount to between 33%-40% of the total amount raised in support of Proposition 8.
Donors opposing Proposition 8
Some of the donors to the No on 8 campaign included:
A website called eight maps was launched by anonymous webmasters in January 2009. It takes the names and ZIP codes of people who donated to the "Yes on 8" campaign and overlays the data on a Google map. Visitors to the website can view markers that give a contributor’s name, approximate location, amount donated and, if the donor listed it, employer.
Testimony from donors to "Yes on 8" says that as a result, they have received death threats and envelopes containing a powdery white substance, according to a February 7, 2009 story in the New York Times.
Chris Jay Hoofnagle, a senior fellow at the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology at the University of California, said, "These are very small donations given by individuals, and now they are subject to harassment that ultimately makes them less able to engage in democratic decision making."
Supporters of the amendment
Dennis Hollingsworth, Gail J. Knight, Martin F. Gutierrez, Hak-Shing William Tam, and Mark A. Jansson filed the wording for the initiative with the Secretary of State. The National Organization for Marriage and Focus on the Family are national organizations that support the initiative and are helping to fund it.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the "Mormons") supported efforts to pass the measure; in June, Mormon church leaders made an appeal to members of the church by letter--asking them to support it with their time and money. In October, through a private sattelite broadcast to church buildings, members were encouraged, on their own time, to man phone banks, distribute campaign materials, blog, sent text messages, and intensifie voter registration efforts. The Mormon faithful, as has been widely noted, are credited with donating millions of dollars as private citizens to the passage of Proposition 8, but the church itself did not make any donations outside of some legally reimbursable "in-kind" expenses amounting to $2,078.97.
The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the largest Orthodox umbrella group nationally, said in late August it would support the passage of Proposition 8.
Well-known evangelical minister Rick Warren endorsed Proposition 8 in late October, emailing a statement to his 30,000 members that said, "There is no doubt where we should stand on this issue." In December, Barack Obama announced that he was choosing Warren to give the invocation at Obama's inauguration. Obama supporters who support same-sex marriage spoke out against this decision. Protestors gathered outside Warren's Saddleback Church the weekend before Obama's inauguration, one holding a sign that read "Purpose Driven Bigots," with a swastika on the reverse.
Arguments in favor of Proposition 8
Notable arguments in favor of Proposition 8 include:
- It protects the free expression of religion, as supporters of Proposition 8 were worried that Gay Rights advocates were not affording them the same courtesy--to live and believe as they please--as the Gay and Lesbian community was/is demanding.
- Supporters of Proposition 8 says that their support of Proposition 8 is not based on an attack on the gay lifestyle, but is rather their effort to preserve what they hold as core values surrounding a vision of traditional marriage.
- "It overturns the decision of four activist Supreme Court judges in ruling unconstitutional a ballot initiative previously approved by the people."
- "It protects our children from being taught in public schools that “same-sex marriage” is as legitimate as marriage between two people of opposite genders."
- "Proposition 8 will protect religious universities, adoption providers, psychologists, doctors, and photographers from prosecution for denying services to same-sex couples for any reason, including their religious convictions."
- See California Proposition 8 videos
Opposition to Proposition 8
Notable opposition groups included Let California Ring, Equality for All, Equality California, the Equality California Issues PAC and the Human Rights Campaign,. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he believed that the amendment was "a waste of time." In an April 11 appearance before the Log Cabin Republicans, Schwarzenegger said, "I think we need a constitutional amendment so that foreign-born citizens can run for president, but not about gay marriage."
Arguments against Proposition 8
Notable arguments against Proposition 8 included:
- "Our California Constitution--the law of our land---should guarantee the same freedoms and right to everyone. No one group should be singled out to be treated differently."
- "Equal protection under the law is the foundation of American society."
- "Traditional Marriage" is a misleading term. Various marriage traditions, since abolished, have included: only allowing members of the upper class or nobility to marry; having marriages arranged by families without the couple's consent; only allowing white people to marry; only allowing people of the same race to marry; and allowing one man to marry multiple women.
- Current statistics show roughly 50% of heterosexual marriages end in divorce. So-called "traditional marriage" is doing more to degrade the institutional of marriage than any expansion of marriage could ever do.
- Voter initiatives to amend the constitutional should not be taken lightly; using them to take away rights from one group could open the door to voter initiatives to take away other rights, including religious freedoms and civil rights.
- The institution of marriage conveys dignity and respect to the lifetime commitment that a couple makes. Proposition 8 would deny lesbian and gay couples the opportunity to that same dignity and respect.
- "The freedom to marry is fundamental to our society, just like the freedoms of religion and speech."
- When domestic partnerships are held out as an acceptable substitute for marriage, this is misleading. Domestic partnerships are not a substitute for marriage. The doctrine of "separate but equal" has been failed throughout American history.
- See California Proposition 8 videos
(Should include celebrities that support Proposition 8 for balance, or else the supporters should be removed.)
Celebrities who oppose Proposition 8 include:
Disputed impact on public education
Supporters of Proposition 8 say that unless it passes, gay marriage will be taught in public schools. This is the theme of a television ad in heavy rotation on California's airwaves, and the Associated Press is reporting on October 22 that the issue has emerged as the leading focus of the campaign.
Frank Schubert, Proposition 8's campaign manager emphasized this argument in September when a group of 1st grade students from the Creative Arts Charter School in San Francisco went on an excursion to see their lesbian teacher marry her partner in a wedding performed by Mayor Gavin Newsom, in an excursion that was organized by the students' parents (not the teacher or the school). This event energized the supporters of Proposition 8, with Mr. Schubert saying that the field trip proves that their concern has been valididated that unless Prop 8 is passed, gay marriage will be added to public school education. "We are already seeing that happen," he says.
Opponents of Proposition 8 responded to this theme being raised in the campaign by:
- Saying there is no mention of schools or curriculum in the language of the proposition; the proposition is about marriage rights, not public education.
- Statements from public education officials that this outcome is unlikely.
Subsequently, supporters of Proposition 8 in speeches and press releases asserted that what they believe will happen (and don't want to happen) is governed by California's Education Code (EC) 51933. This code is said by them to specify that while a school district is not required to provide comprehensive sexual health education, if it chooses to do so, it is required to comply with all of the code's requirements, one of which includes 'teach[ing] respect for marriage and committed relationships.' Prop 8 supporters then argue that according to a document, Sex Education in California Public Schools, 96 percent of California school districts currently provide comprehensive sexual health education. As a result, Proposition 8 supporters believe that 96 percent of the school districts will either teach about gay marriage in schools, or stop teaching comprehensive sexual health education. Proposition 8 supporters join to this their further assessment that school districts are unlikely to stop teaching comprehensive sexual education.
Same-sex couples have been married since 2004 in Massachusetts. Subsequent to the decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Court in favor of same-sex marriage, a teacher in Lexington, Massachusetts read a book, "King & King," to her second-grade students that includes a story line about two princes marrying.
The parents of one of the children in that second grade objected, and filed a federal lawsuit against the school district which asserted, in part, that the motivation of the teacher who read the book was "for the express purpose of indoctrinating them into the concept that homosexuality and marriage between same-sex partners is moral."
The federal lawsuit was dismissed and in October 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of the lower court's dismissal.
Supporters of Proposition 8 are communicating about this Massachusetts case both to their supporters and to undecided voters in a new television ad that features the Massachusetts parents. Campaign materials indicate that they see the Massachusetts event as validating their claim that unless gay marriage is expressly forbidden in the California constitution, events similar to what happened in Massachusetts will happen in California. Opponents of Proposition 8 point out that unlike Massachusetts' education code, California's gives parents the absolute right to opt their child out of any lessons related to family, health, or sexual education. According to a recent survey about 40 percent of public schools had "Improper parental notification policies." Opponents argue that the Massachusetts case is not really relevant, while proponents point out that relevant or not, California courts have already ruled that parental rights "end at the schoolhouse" and there is no guarantee that they, as parents, will be informed about school policies.
30-second ads not adequate
The Los Angeles Times argues that the truth about these questions "is slightly more complicated than can be captured in the 30-second television advertisements put out by both sides."
Reporter Jessica Garrison of that paper writes:
- "There is nothing in the state education code that requires schools to teach anything about marriage. Even the decision about whether to offer comprehensive sex education is left up to individual school districts."
- "What state law does require is that districts that offer sex education 'teach respect for marriage and committed relationships.'"
Hilary McLean, press secretary for Jack O'Connell, head of the California Department of Education, says that the Pro-8 ad is "unnecessarily and irresponsibly alarmist."
Role of Prop 8 in presidential race
Shortly after Proposition 8 qualified for the fall ballot, presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain aligned themselves on opposite sides of the issue, with Obama opposing and McCain supporting it. A reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle described this as "a move that puts gay rights front and center in the 2008 presidential campaign."
Obama's statement on the matter said that he opposes "the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution," while McCain told the group that worked to put the measure on the ballot that he agrees with their idea of recognizing "marriage as a unique institution between a man and a woman."
Does it matter?
A burst of punditry in late July speculated that getting Proposition 8 on the ballot was part of an organized effort on the part of conservatives to give presidential candidate John McCain a leg up in November voting. A ballot initiative on which people have pronounced, strong opinions can have an effect on other races on the ballot, it is said, because:
- Some people who come to the polls to vote for a ballot initiative on which they have a strong opinion, and who otherwise would not have bothered to come out to vote, will stay and pull the lever in some other races.
- Candidates can tap into public sentiment that coalesces around much-talked-of ballot propositions in order to support their own campaign themes and messages.
- Supporters of a candidate who have maxed out on their legally-allowable campaign contribution limits to a candidate committee can donate much higher dollar amounts to ballot campaign committees, to the extent that they think this will help their favored candidate for one of the above two reasons, who would not otherwise particularly care about the ballot proposition itself.
Opponents of Proposition 8 told the New York Times in late September that there is a concern that high voter turn-out among black voters who come to the polls in California to vote for Obama could help the "Yes on 8" side if a significant percentage of those black voters then go on to cast a down-ballot vote in favor of Proposition 8.
This concern is based on the observation that higher percentages of black voters may be "traditionally conservative on issues involving homosexuality."
Supporters of 8 say they are, in fact, banking on a high turnout in the November election among black and conservative Latino voters. Frank Shorter, co-campaign manager for the pro-8 effort, told the New York Times, "here’s no question African-American and Latino voters are among our strongest supporters. And to the extent that they are motivated to get to the polls, whether by this issue or by Barack Obama, it helps us."
Anti-8 campaigners are responding to this situation--which Andrea Shorter calls a "Catch-22"--by recruiting black gay couples as spokespeople and reaching out to black pastors.
- See also Polls, 2008 ballot measures.
|Month of Poll||Polling company||In Favor||Opposed||Undecided|
|May 2008||Field||40 percent||54 percent||6 percent|
|July 2008||Field||42 percent||51 percent||7 percent|
|August 2008||PPIC||40 percent||54 percent||6 percent|
|Sept. 2008||Field||38 percent||55 percent||7 percent|
|Sept. 2008||SurveyUSA||44 percent||49 percent||7 percent|
|Sept. 2008||PPIC||41 percent||55 percent||4 percent|
|Oct. 2008||Internal polling, "No on 8"||47 percent||42 percent||11 percent|
|Oct 4-5, 2008||CBS News/SurveyUSA||47 percent||42 percent||11 percent|
|Oct 15-16, 2008||SurveyUSA||48 percent||45 percent||7 percent|
|October 12-19||PPIC||44 percent||52 percent||6 percent|
|October 18-28||Field||44 percent||49 percent||7 percent|
|Nov. 1-2||SurveyUSA||47 percent||50 percent||3 percent|
|Jan. 15-22||Public Policy Institute of California||41 percent||53 percent||6 percent|
Theories for poll movement
What explains late September polls showing a gain in support for Proposition 8? The main theory for this is the possible impact of an advertising push by the National Organization for Marriage that shows footage of San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsome saying same-sex marriage is here "whether you like it or not." Another ad refers to "activist judges" with regard to the 4-3 decision in May 2008 of the California Supreme Court in In re Marriage Cases which nullified Proposition 22.
National pundit Andrew Sullivan has dubbed this the Newsom Effect.
A poll done by the National Asian American Survey and released on October 15 found that 57% of likely Asian-American voters in the state are opposed to Proposition 8, 32% support it and 11% are undecided. Asian Americans represent approximately 14% of California's population.
Who voted for Prop 8?
The Public Policy Institute of California released a poll in December 2008 to shed some light on who voted for Prop 8, especially in light of widespread claims that relatively heavy support among black voters is what pushed Prop 8 to victory. 2,003 voters were polled from November 5–16.
- On a stand-alone question, 47% were in favor of same-sex marriage, 48% were opposed and 5% were unsure.
- 85% of voters identifying themselves as evangelical or born-again Christians voted "yes."
- Of non-evangelical Christians polled, 42% voted yes.
- 77% of Republicans in the poll voted yes.
- 65% of Democrats voted no.
- 85% of John McCain supporters voted yes.
- 30% of Barack Obama voters voted yes.
- 61% of Latinos voted yes.
- 57% of Latinos, Asians, and blacks combined voted yes.
- 62% of those without a college degree voted yes.
- 74% of those who voted yes on Prop 8 considered the outcome of the vote to be "very important," while 59% of those who voted no attached the same level of importance to the outcome.
Path to the ballot
- See also: California signature requirements
As an initiated constitutional amendment, 694,354 valid signatures were required to qualify the measure for the ballot. The initiative's supporters announced on April 24 that they had collected and turned in for verification about 1.1 million signatures. In June, the California Secretary of State announced that the measure was qualified and would appear on the November ballot.
The signature-gathering effort to qualify the Proposition 8 petition for the ballot was conducted by petition management firm Bader & Associates, Inc. (owned by Tom Bader and Joy Bader), at a cost of $882,900.
A lawsuit filed by opponents to remove Proposition 8 from the ballot failed. See Lawsuits, California Proposition 8.
- For main article, see Boycotts related to California Proposition 8.
Boycotts were part of the campaign against Proposition 8. Once the measure passed, some supporters of same-sex marriage announced new boycotts and other actions against supporters of Propostion 8.
Specific boycott actions included:
- Publicizing donors.
- A boycott of Terry Caster.
- A boycott of Doug Manchester.
- A boycott of Bolthouse Farms.
- Boycotting Utah.
Ballot title and language lawsuits
- For main article, see Lawsuits, California Proposition 8 (2008).
In addition to a lawsuit seeking to strike Proposition 8 from the ballot, the measure was also at the center of a ballot title lawsuit and a lawsuit about what arguments could be included in the official voter's guide. Supporters of the measure lost their lawsuit seeking to have California Attorney General Jerry Brown use the ballot title under which the petition was originally circulated, prior to the California's May 2008 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. Opponents of Proposition 8 partly lost and partly won a lawsuit seeking to have an argument about schoolchildren being taught gay marriage removed from the official ballot booklet.
Voters in 30 states have approved legislatively-referred constitutional amendments or initiated constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriages at the ballot box. The first constitutional prohibition was in 1998, and the latest one occurred in May 2012. Most of these amendments define marriage along the lines of a "union of one male and one female."
The following constitutional bans were approved by voters, but later overturned by courts:
- Alaska Marriage Amendment, Measure 2 (1998)
- Nevada Marriage Amendment, Question 2 (2002)
- Montana Marriage Verification, Measure CI-96 (2004)
- Oklahoma Marriage Question 711 (2004)
- Oregon Marriage Measure 36 (2004)
- Utah Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Amendment 3 (2004)
- Kansas Marriage Amendment (2005)
- Colorado Definition of Marriage, Initiative 43 (2006)
- Idaho Marriage Definition, HJR 2 (2006)
- South Carolina Amendment 1, the Marriage Act (2006)
- Virginia Question 1, Marriage Amendment (2006)
- Wisconsin Marriage Amendment, Question 1 (2006)
- Arizona Marriage Protection, Proposition 102 (2008)
- California Proposition 8, the "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry" Initiative (2008)
- Florida Definition of Marriage, Amendment 2 (2008)
- Note: Florida's repeal will go into effect on January 5, 2015.
Cases overturning the following bans have been appealed to higher courts and are currently stayed:
- Missouri Marriage Definition, Amendment 2 (August 2004)
- Arkansas Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Proposed Constitutional Amendment 3 (2004)
- Texas Definition of Marriage Act, Proposition 2 (2005)
The following constitutional bans were approved by voters and have been upheld or not overturned by courts:
- Nebraska Marriage Definition Amendment, Initiative 416 (2000)
- Louisiana Marriage Amendment, Question 1 (September 2004)
- Georgia Marriage Amendment, Question 1 (2004)
- Kentucky Marriage Amendment (2004)
- Michigan Marriage Amendment, Proposal 2 (2004)
- Mississippi Marriage Definition, Amendment 1 (2004)
- North Dakota Definition of Marriage, Constitutional Measure 1 (2004)
- Ohio Issue 1, the Marriage Amendment (2004)
- Alabama Sanctity of Marriage, Constitutional Amendment 774 (June 2006)
- South Dakota Marriage Amendment (2006)
- Tennessee Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Amendment 1 (2006)
The following constitutional bans were defeated by voters:
- Note: Arizonans defeated a measure in 2006, but approved one in 2008, which has been overturned.
- Official Voter's Guide to Proposition 8
- PDF of the mailed November 4, 2008 voter guide for Proposition 8
- November 4, 2008 ballot proposition election returns (dead link)
- Proposition 8 in the Smart Voter Guide
- Analysis of Proposition 8 from the Institute of Governmental Studies
- Guide to Proposition 8 from the California Voter Foundation
- Summary of donors to and against Proposition 8 from Cal-Access
- Donors for and against Proposition 8 from Follow The Money
- Signature validation report (archived)
- Protect Marriage
- What is Prop 8?
- National Organization for Marriage
- Focus on the Family
- List of large donors to Protect Marriage
- Proposition 8 in simple terms (Proposition 8 - in plain english)
- Campaign video for Prop 8 (The Newsom/"Whether you like it or not" ad)
- Campaign video for Prop 8 (The "It's already happened" ad/"teaching children about gay marriage will happen here" ad)
- Campaign video for Prop 8 ( The "It's already happened (in spanish) "Estoy ya occurio" ad)
- Campaign video for Prop 8 (The "Robb and Robin Worthlin story" ad)
- Newt Gingrich speak about prop 8
- Mormons for 8, information site showing Mormon donors to 8.
- No on Proposition 8
- Equality California
- Let California Ring
- Human Rights Campaign
- Americans Against Discrimination
- Mormons for Marriage
- Signing for Something
- List of large donors to the Equality California Issues PAC (opponents)
- Californians Against Hate, boycott website
- No on 8 user-generated video (Professor Lawrence Lessig Against Prop 8)
- No on 8 campaign video (The Thorons ad--older married couple speaking of their children's right to marry)
- No on 8 campaign video (The "I Decide" video)
- No on 8 campaign video (The "Lies" ad)
- Video response to Yes on Prop 8 ad (The "Five Little Lies" ad)
- California Secretary of State Proposition 8 Text of Proposed Law (dead link)
- Sacramento Bee, "Judge rules Proposition 8 unconstitutional," August 4, 2010 (dead link)
- Mercury News, "California Supreme Court to decide fate of Proposition 8 same-sex marriage ban," November 19, 2008
- New York Times, "Top Court in California Will Review Proposition 8," November 19, 2008
- Sacramento Bee, "Proposition 8 opponents seek to invalidate measure," November 5, 2008 (dead link)
- San Francisco Chronicle, "Same-sex marriage backers hit Capitol, churches," November 10, 2008
- Los Angeles Times, "Proposition 8 upheld by California Supreme Court," May 26, 2009 (dead link)
- Same-sex marriage in California
- "Interracial Marriage and Gay Marriage - Historic Parallels"
- "Text of the Supreme Court Ruling"
- Groups jousting over gay rights in California, SignOnSanDiego.com, Nov. 12, 2007
- Protect Marriage, Why do we now need to amend the state constitution? (dead link)
- Text of decision invalidating Proposition 22
- Secretary of State Debra Bowen Certifies Eighth Measure for November 4, 2008, General Election
- Christian Science Monitor, "Date set for challenge of California gay-marriage ban," August 19, 2009
- Huffington Post, "Supreme Court Rules On Prop 8, Lets Gay Marriage Resume In California," June 26, 2013
- Fox 40, "Legislators to introduce Prop 8 repeal measures," December 2, 2008 (dead link)
- PolitickerCA, "Q & A with state senator-elect Mark Leno," December 2, 2008
- Miami Herald, "California Dems push gay rights in wake of Proposition 8 vote," January 19, 2009 (dead link)
- Sacramento Bee, "Thousands at Capitol rally back continuing fight against Proposition 8," November 10, 2008
- Los Angeles Times, "How would Proposition 8 affect married same-sex couples?," October 28, 2008
- San Francisco Chronicle, "Proposition 8 opponents unhappy with campaign leaders," January 25, 2009
- LA Weekly, "Queer Town: "No on 8" Leadership on the Hot Seat," November 25, 2008
- Edge Boston, "Is San Francisco Punishing Catholic Church for Prop 8?," January 19, 2009
- Mercury News, "Proposition 8: Money pours in to oppose same-sex marriage ban," October 15, 2008
- Los Angeles Times, "Proposition 8; Tracking The Money." This is a frequently updated resouce for donation levels from both sides
- Jurist," "California marriage battle sets fundraising records," October 27, 2008
- Boston Globe, Money pours into Calif. gay marriage campaigns, June 30, 2008
- Contributions to Yes on 8 pouring in
- Los Angeles Times, "Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw donate big to stop California's marriage initiative," September 24, 2008
- San Francisco Chronicle, "Proposition 8 battle draws in $46 million," October 8, 2008
- International Herald Tribune, "Facts about California's initiative process"
- Catholics united for California marriage vote, Knights give $1M (timed out)
- California Same-Sex Marriage Initiative Campaigns Shatter Spending Records
- Donatons to NOM-California
- Hyatt Hotel Owner Donated $125,000 to Stop Gay Marriage
- California religious leaders push for gay marriage ban
- Los Angeles Times, "Funding for California ballot initiatives flows in from out of state," August 1, 2008
- Los Angeles Times, "Teachers union donates $1 million to oppose Proposition 8"
- California Same-Sex Marriage Initiative Campaigns Shatter Spending Records
- PG&E joins fight against Prop 8
- List of donors to Equality California Marriage PAC
- List of donors to Equality for All
- "Apple," "No on Prop 8"
- "San Jose Mercury News," "Google co-founders Brin and Page among large donors to campaign to defeat Proposition 8"
- "Official Google Blog," "Our position on California's No on 8 campaign"
- New York Times, "Prop 8 Donor Web Site Shows Disclosure Law Is 2-Edged Sword," February 7, 2009
- Protect Marriage, List of initiative supporters (dead link)
- LDS Church taking position on gay marriage
- Associated Press, "Mormons renew calls for Calif. gay marriage ban," October 9, 2008
- Records: Mormon church contributed to proposition
- The Jewish Daily Forward, "Orthodox Join Fight Against Gay Nuptials," August 28, 2008
- Huffington Post, "Rick Warren and Prop 8; He knows better"
- Time, "Inaugural Pastor: The Two Faces of Rick Warren, January 18, 2009
- Orange County Register, "Protestors oppose pastor's inauguration role," January 19, 2009
- Palm Springs Prop 8 Rally Turns Ugly
- Traditional marriage group steps up for Proposition 8
- Arguments in favor of 8 from the California voter's guide (dead link)
- Appeal Democrat, "Yuba board backs 8," October 8, 2008
-  (dead link)
- Equality for All campaign information
- Equality California Marriage PAC
- [Equality California Marriage PAC]
- No on Prop 8, ACLU
- Human Rights Campaign, No on Prop 8
- Human Rights Campaign, No on Prop 8
- No on 8, National Center for Lesbian Rights
- Californians against discrimination
- GLBT alliance of Santa Cruz County
- Task Force California, Sponsored by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Foundation/Action Fund
- Bay Area Report, Big bucks seen in amendment battle, May 1, 2008
- Christian Examiner, Signature drive meets goal as Gov. Schwarzenegger chides effort for marriage amendment, May 2008
- Arguments against 8 from the California voter's guide (dead link)
- Brad Pitt donates $100,000 to fight gay marriage ban
- Degeneres speaks against gay marriage ban (dead link)
- "Molly Ringwald supports gay marriage"
- Associated Press, "Hollywood comes out in support of gay marriage," October 22, 2008 (dead link)
- Chicago Sun Times, "Celebrities come out in support of gay marriage," October 25, 2008 (dead link)
- [The "It's already happened" campaign video for Proposition 8 which says "teaching children about gay marriage will happen here"
- Associated Press, "Public schools become focus of gay marriage ban," October 22, 2008
- California Department of Education website
- Amazon.com listing for King & King
- Proposition 8: Who's really lying? A campaign press release put out by Prop 8 supporters
- A survey by an outside source
- Parents need empowerment in education
- Mercury News, "Questions raised over Yes on Proposition 8 ads," October 18, 2008
- FOX News, Obama opposes California ballot measure seeking constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, July 1, 2008
- San Francisco Chronicle, Obama opposes California same-sex marriage ban, which McCain supports, July 1, 2008
- GOP suffering from lack of (ballot) initiative, Los Angeles Times, July 29, 2008
- This year's ballot initiatives
- Social issues crowd state ballots
- To defeat Obama, conservatives take the initiative
- CBS News, "Gay marriage ban supporters thank Obama," October 5, 2008
- New York Times, "Same-Sex Marriage Ban Is Tied to Obama Factor," September 20, 2008
- Wall Street Journal, "Gay marriage in peril in California," October 22, 2008
- Foxbusiness, "Field Poll Understates Support for Proposition 8," July 18, 2008 (dead link)
- San Diego Union-Tribune, "Measure to prohibit gay unions is trailing," July 18, 2008
- Poll: California voters oppose ban on gay marriage, August 28, 2008
- San Diego Tribune, "Opposition to Proposition 8 up to 55%, poll shows," September 18, 2008
- The September 2008 Field Poll on Proposition 8
- Survey USA election poll conducted for CBS 5, KABC, KPIX, KGTV and KFSN
- San Francisco Chronicle, "Poll: Same-sex marriage ban not wooing voters," September 25, 2008
- San Francisco Chronicle, "Proposition 8 battle draws in $46 million," October 8, 2008
- cbs5.com', "Young Voters Lead Prop 8 Support Shift," October 6, 2008
- Survey USA "Results of SurveyUSA Election Poll #14613"
- PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and their government, released October 22, 2008
- Field Poll for the Sacramento Bee, October 31, 2008
- Sacramento Bee's Capitol Alert, "Survey says: New polling on Props. 4, 8, 11 and Obama-McCain," November 3, 2008
- Bloomberg.com, "Californians Favor Same-Sex Weddings as Court Weighs Ban," March 24, 2013
- Wall Street Journal, "California Pops the Question," October 12, 2008
- The Atlantic Monthly: Andrew Sullivan's Blog, "The Newsom Effect," October 20, 2008
- KTVU-TV, "Poll Finds Majority of Asian-Americans Oppose Proposition 8"
- Los Angeles Times, "New poll confirms who liked--and opposed--Prop 8 on same-sex marriage," December 3, 2008
- Californians and their government
- PPIC press release
- Protect Marriage, Marriage amendment heads to the ballot, April 24, 2008
- Campaign expenditure details
- A gay-marriage Pandora's Box?
- The New 'I Do'
- Seeds of social issues dot 2008 elections
- Opponents of gay marriage stay mostly quiet--for now (dead link), Los Angeles Times, June 18, 2008
- Pro-marriage forces struggle in California
- To defeat Obama, conservatives take the initiative
- Proposition 8 Update, Andrew Sullivan, August 28, 2008
- Proposition 8 battle lines drawn
- Split down the aisle (dead link)
- Voters split in many ways on gay marriage ban
- California same-sex marriage initiative shatters spending records
- 'As goes California, so goes the nation'
State of California
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