Plaintiffs in the lawusit against Prop 8 (Scott Shafer/KQED)
Plaintiffs in the lawusit against Prop 8 (Scott Shafer/KQED)

Update: The U.S. Supreme Court released three decisions today, none of which was one of the closely watched cases on same-sex marriage, the Voting Rights Act and affirmative action in school admissions.

The court now has 11 cases still remaining.

There are only two scheduled decision-release days left, Monday and Thursday — though it’s possible the court will go even beyond that date in coming to grips with the potential landmark cases remaining.

While you’re waiting … and waiting and waiting …. here’s everything you ever wanted to know about the Prop. 8 case and then some. The Reader’s Digest version:

Prop. 8 is California’s same-sex marriage ban that was struck down on narrow grounds by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Should SCOTUS uphold that decision, same-sex marriages could begin again in California in mid-to-late July, according to San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s office. (San Francisco was an intervenor in the case on the plaintiff’s side.) If the court uses the case to issue a more sweeping ruling that all same-sex marriage bans are illegal, that would effectively legalize same-sex marriage throughout the country.

Legal analyst Vikram Amar, however, told KQED’s Scott Shafer last week that a broad decision declaring a fundamental nationwide right to same-sex marriage is highly unlikely. “It’s very rare for the court to invalidate the laws of two-thirds or three-quarters of the states,” Amar said. He noted that when bans on interracial marriage were struck down in 1967, only 16 states had such laws — compared with 35 that now ban gay marriage.

But it should also be noted that polls have shown a remarkable swing in favor of same-sex marriage since voters approved Prop. 8 in 2008. So, even in a worst-case scenario for those who support same-sex marriage — that California’s ban is upheld — a ballot initiative in 2014 could well overturn the law. On Wednesday, state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said the Senate may act to place a repeal of Prop. 8 on the ballot should same-sex marriages remain illegal in the state. Such a measure would require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature for it to be placed before voters. LGBT advocates could also place a measure on the ballot.


DOMA is a 1996 federal law that defines marriage as between only a man and a woman. It prevents those who are in same-sex marriages from receiving a host of federal benefits, such as the ability to file a joint tax return. In the case before the court, a widow was forced to pay $363,000 in inheritance taxes after her female spouse died, a liability she would not have incurred if she’d been married to a man. A federal appeals court ruled that provision of DOMA was unconstitutional. Another provision, requiring states to recognize only opposite-sex marriages performed in other states, is not at issue here.

No Supreme Court Decision on Prop. 8 or DOMA Today; Next Possibility is Monday 20 June,2013Jon Brooks

  • Kell

    Fingers crossed and butterflies in my stomach!

  • Len Stankewitz

    What is amazing there is pools used that say the country is swinging in favor, but i don’t know about you but I’ve never been polled. So who are these targeted polls represent. Not me. Len

    • liss

      I’ve never been polled either, but I am proud to say that if I was, I would support equality and reject oppression.

  • Samantha!!

    i’m sorry but this is truly pissing me off, in some states people are allowed to marry first cousins, minors, animals! themselves, multiple parties, etc yet in one of the most free states of the U.S. we are denied the right to marriage? and or a union between two of the same sexes not to be acknowledge the same as a heterosexual one? HETEROSEXUALITY IS NOT NORMAL IS IS COMMON! travel the world learn something and you will see. Throw the bible in the mix will you oooh please don’t try my patience people you will be rudely awakened.

  • Jordan Petersen

    May love, commitment and equality prevail over fear, ignorance and/or hate.

  • Matty

    Pass it already; remember liberty and justice for all?

  • LGJ

    Go ahead if you will rage against God and try His patience……

    Psalm 2:1

    Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

    2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,

    3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords (laws) from us.

    4 He that sit in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

    5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

    Romans 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

    27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

    28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

    • Your god doesn’t exist. Your bible was written by ancient flat-earthers. You subscribe to rubbish mythology, and your stupidity will one day go the way of the dodo.

  • LGJ

    Allowing your children to do wrong and not correct them is not love it actually proves that you do not care anything for them at all

    • Thyme

      Question: When did you choose to be straight?

      • Power_2_the_People

        According to evolution and scientists, if homosexuality was a gene, it would have died out a long time ago due to its small sampling and the fact that homosexuals dont breed. So, keep believing its a gene, when science says otherwise.

    • Your place is not to tell others what to do or how to live. Stop imposing your personal values on other people. Or die already.

      • msrita

        Well stop imposing your personal views on the Straight Community. Stop using Voter and Civil Rights Please get your own agenda.

  • msrita

    Voting Rights Civil Rights were for Black. Name Same Sex Rights Movement.

    Come on know we can not be this stupid.

  • Luke Urban

    This is encouraging Prop 8 will not pass now. Hopefully DOMA is upheld.

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