Gay Marriage Back In California, Now What? - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Tony McEwing

Gay Marriage Back In California, Now What?

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By ruling that supporters of Proposition 8 had no legal standing to defend the measure, the U.S. Supreme Court in effect reinstated same sex marriage here in California. Those opposed to the Court's action have vowed to continue their fight. However, their legal options may be limited. There is a 25 day window in which Prop. 8 supporters can request that the Court reconsider its ruling. But since that almost never happens, such a request would almost certainly be denied. There has also been some talk that gay marriage opponents might try to seek a legal ruling that would limit the right to get married to specifically those few involved directly in the case and nobody else. That effort too would likely go nowhere since there's no indication that such a legal ruling is obtainable. And California Attorney General Kamala Harris has already ordered county clerks throughout the state to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples who request them as soon as legally possible.

A third possibility is also problematic for gay marriage opponents: drafting another referendum for California voters. While Prop. 8 was approved by 52% of the electorate, there are strong indicators that a similar ballot measure in the future would fail. One of the latest polls shows 58% of the state's registered voters now favor same sex marriage while 36% are against it. And even if a measure banning gay marriage were to succeed again, there is no reason to believe a federal court would not declare it unconstitutional just as it did with Prop. 8.

However, same sex marriage success in California doesn't mean same sex marriage success in the more than 30 other states that do not currently recognize such unions. While the Supreme Court rebuffed supporters of Prop. 8, it made it clear it is in no hurry to extend the constitutional right to marry to gays nationwide. In fact, quite the opposite.

A majority on the Court, even at least one of the liberal justices, seemed to make it clear they would just as soon not get involved and instead allow individual states to decide this very controversial and emotional issue. If anyone cared to read between the lines, the message from the Court was loud and clear: "Feel free not to come back anytime soon."

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