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Breaking News: SCOTUS rules on the freedom to marry. Read More





On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States announced its decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry, dismissing the case and declaring that the proponents of Proposition 8 lack legal standing to appeal the lower court rulings that have already invalidated Prop. 8. The historic ruling makes permanent the August 2010 Federal District Court ruling that found Prop. 8 unconstitutional and will result in the swift restoration of the freedom to marry in California, making the state the thirteenth (plus Washington, D.C.) where same-sex couples can marry. After marriage is restored in California, nearly one third of the U.S. population - more than 93 million Americans - will live in a state where same-sex couples can marry. Read the full ruling HERE.

The Supreme Court decision was the culmination of a long road toward the freedom to marry for California. 

In May 2008, after decades of public education, advocacy and political leadership on marriage in California, the California Supreme Court ruled in In Re: Marriage Cases to uphold the freedom to marry. In subsequent months, an estimated 18,000 gay couples were married in virtually every county of the state.

In November 2008, the California electorate narrowly passed Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment designed to supersede the court and prohibit same-sex couples from marrying in California. Supporters of the freedom to marry, led by the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), filed a lawsuit seeking to find Prop. 8 unconstitutional.

On August 4, 2010, District Court Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled in Perry v. Schwarzenegger that Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process. The case proceeded to higher courts, which have ruled Proposition 8 time and again to be unconstitutional.

On February 7, 2012, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Perry v. Brown, and in a 2-1 vote, chose to uphold Judge Vaughn Walker's previous ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. Proponents of Proposition 8 petitioned for an en banc rehearing of the case, asking for the case to be retried by an 11-judge panel. On June 5, 2012, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the request for an en banc rehearing. 

On December 7, 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States granted review to the case, now Hollingsworth v. Perry, and oral arguments in the case were heard on March 26, 2013. On June 26, the Supreme Court announced its ruling. Marriages began in California just a few days later, on June 28. Read all about Proposition 8 HERE


A wide majority (61%) of California residents support the freedom to marry. (Field Poll, March 2013) 



According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 98,153 same-sex couples are living in California, representing 7.8 same-sex couples per 1,000 households. 

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