The California Supreme Court ruled 6-1 today to uphold Proposition 8, the deeply controversial measure passed by voters in November 2008 banning same-sex marriage. In the same ruling, the court also declared that California must continue to legally recognize the marriages of the approximately 18,000 same-sex couples who were wed before the passage of Prop. 8.
Supporters and opponents of gay marriage came out swinging after the ruling was announced. Here's what they're saying:
"I am 52 years old. In my lifetime, I have had equal rights for exactly four and one-half months. That is not enough. That brief period came at a particularly difficult time for my and my partner's aging parents, who could not travel to California before the November election. We chose to wait rather than to have a wedding without our beloved parents there to celebrate with us. Now it is too late."
-- Ruth Borenstein, lead petitioner
"A lot of people just assume we're religious nuts. We're not. But we are Christians and we believe in the Bible."
-- George Popko, gay marriage opponent
"I'm very upset about the decision. I had hope the court would make what would have been the moral decision. This shows that 50 percent plus one vote can take away rights of the people."
-- Robin Tyler, plaintiff
"The people of California have voted to protect marriage because they recognize the far-reaching consequences that redefining marriage will have for children, the family, religious liberties, businesses and every facet of American society. Today's decision should encourage pro-family activists not only in California but across the country."
-- Tony Perkins, president, Family Research Council
"While I believe that one day either the people or courts will recognize gay marriage, as governor of California, I will uphold the decision of the California Supreme Court."
-- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, (R) California
"While I'm relieved, I'm a bit fatigued... I'm sure I'm not alone. Many Christians may be hesitant, if not completely resistant, to engage the culture on issues that contradict their values and beliefs the next time around."
-- Jeff Buchanan, Director, Exodus Church Association, on the media's negative response to gay marriage opponents
"Next year we will win back our rights. Until that time, Californians Against Hate will continue to closely watch all who oppose our civil rights. We will carefully monitor and take action against those who bully us and spend vast sums of money against us. Individuals and organizations who give millions of dollars to deny our full civil rights will be held accountable."
-- Californians Against Hate