US Supreme Court Wipes Out California’s Gay Marriage Ban

The U.S. Supreme Court decided Wednesday it will not take up a challenge to California’s voter-approved Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage. That means the court has left intact a lower-court ruling that struck down the state’s voter-approved ban on gay marriage.

According to NBC Southern California, “The ruling states the people who brought this case — Prop 8 supporters — had no legal standing to bring the case to the Supreme Court. The decision likely means same-sex marriage can resume in California.” This decision clears the way Wednesday for same-sex marriages to resume in California. Currently, there are more than 18,000 same-sex couples who were married in California back in 2008 before Proposition 8 was passed.

The 5-4 ruling was written by Chief Justice John Roberts. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Antonin Scalia and Elena Kagan joined to form the majority.

That being said, it doesn’t guarantee marriage for same sex couples in Califronia. KQED’s Scott Shafer reports that a question remains as to whether it will be statewide or not.

There is likely to be more litigation by Prop. 8 supporters maintaining that for technical legal reasons the ruling should apply to a limited number of counties or even to only the two couples who were the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

Prop. 8 defenders now have 25 days to ask for a rehearing. So at the soonest, we’ll see marriage in mid-to-late July.

While many believed that a Prop. 8 ruling on standing would make same-sex marriage legal throughout California, others believed that it would apply only in the counties where the suits were filed (Alameda and Los Angeles), and in San Francisco, which intervened in the case. Because of these complications, most counties have said they will look to the state for direction.

This followed the Supreme Court striking down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act this same morning, deeming it unconstitutional because it violates the equal protection rights of same-sex couples.

Get the rundown of how DOMA and the Prop 8 ruling went down on