Bloomberg News is reporting that the US Supreme Court will examine California's gay marriage law to see if the 14th Amendment bars the state from defining marriage in a traditional way.
The SCOTUS Blog posted this update Friday afternoon via CoveritLive:
“Prop. 8 is granted on the petition question -- whether 14th Am. bars Calif. from defining marriage in traditional way. Plus an added question: Whether the backers of Prop.. 8 have standing in the case under Art. III.”
In 2008, 52 percent of California voters approved Proposition 8. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the law in February, ruling Prop. 8 unconstitutional. Prop. 8 supporters then appealed to the country's highest court.
This chronology of the history of gay marriage on the LA Times explains the complex road that has led to today.
The SCOTUS Blog also clarified the immediate impact of the court's decision Friday—there is none.
“Although the Court is ruling on Prop. 8, there is nothing in the order that would lift the 9th CA's stay. So marriage licenses in Calif. will have to wait until this case is decided.”
Friday, the Supreme Court also granted a review of Windsor, a challenge to federal Defense of Marriage Act, according to Bloomberg.
DOMA bars the federal government from recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples.
State Attorney General Kamala D. Harris spoke in support of the court's decision to review Prop. 8.
“Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to consider marriage equality takes our nation one step closer to realizing the American ideal of equal protection under the law for all people,” Harris said in a prepared statement. “For justice to prevail, Proposition 8 must be invalidated so that gay and lesbian families are finally treated with equality and dignity.”
Others echoed her sentiments.
“We are pleased that the court has agreed to decide once and for all whether these blatantly discriminatory marriage bans are permitted under our Constitution,” Ilona Turner, Legal Director of Transgender Law Center in San Francisco said in a prepared statement. “These laws that unconstitutionally restrict access to marriage based solely on gender must be struck down.”
Eight other cases involving same-sex marriage were not added to the Supreme Court's “orders list,” essentially its docket for the next term. Most involved the Defense of Marriage Act.
It's expected the court will hear the marriage cases in the March sitting, March 18-27.