California Supreme Court Hears Arguments Over Prop 8

Attorneys hoping to overturn California’s same-sex marriage ban made their case before the California Supreme Court this morning, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Legalizing gay marriage was "a resounding and eloquent affirmation of our Constitution's foundational guarantee of equal citizenship,” Shannon Minter, an attorney representing gay couples, told the Supreme Court justices during the hearing. “It is today's case that will determine whether future generations of Californians can continue to count on that guarantee.”

In 2008, the Court ruled 4-3 to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in California, however that ruling was overturned by voters who passed Proposition 8 by a narrow margin in November. Prop. 8 amended the state constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, making all same-sex unions null and void.

Minter argued this morning that Prop. 8 illegally "took away a fundamental right to marry in same-sex couples." In addition, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera argued that “this is a battle for equality. It is a fight for the equality of all Californians."

Protect Marriage, the organization that fought to get Prop. 8 on the ballot, has argued that voters have the right to amend the constitution and the Court has an obligation to accept the decision of the majority.

Arguing on behalf of Prop. 8 is Kenneth Starr, the attorney who made headlines in the late 1990s due to his involvement in the Bill Clinton impeachment trial.

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