HOLLINGSWORTH v. PERRY
Today was a historic day for the Supreme Court. Civil Right Law is outside my practice area, but the oral arguments heard today about gay marriage were absolutely fascinating and worth posting. Listen to the audio.
Background – source http://www.oyez.org
In 2000, the citizens of California passed Proposition 22, which affirmed a legal understanding that marriage was a union between one man and one woman. In 2008, the California Supreme Court held that the California Constitution required the term “marriage” to include the union of same-sex couples and invalidated Proposition 22. Later in 2008, California citizens passed Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to provide that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized by California.”
The respondents, a gay couple and a lesbian couple, sued the state officials responsible for the enforcement of California’s marriage laws and claimed that Proposition 8 violated their Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection of the law. When the state officials originally named in the suit informed the district court that they could not defend Proposition 8, the petitioners, official proponents of the measure, intervened to defend it. The district court held that Proposition 8 violated the Constitution, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed.
Do the petitioners have standing under Article III of the Constitution to argue this case?
Does the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibit the state of California from defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman?