Same sex marriage in California has taken a different route as compared to the other states in America. With effect from June 2008, the state allowed and licensed same sex marriages, being the second state to take that step. The rationale behind this as indicated by a ruling made by the Supreme Court was founded on the need for protection and respect to decisions made by the citizens, in this case those who practice homosexuality.
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This ban was however declared unconstitutional by the federal court in 2010, a decision that was granted full support by the United States court of appeal in 2012 (University of California, 2010). From this therefore, same sex marriages in California are being governed from three perspectives which are the law, Prop8 and the Supreme Court.
The perspective of the law, according to the federal court in California, indicates that the ban on same sex marriages is unlawful and against the constitution since it violates the human rights dignity of a section of the society. The Californian parliament voted in support of same sex marriages, making it the first state to take such an action.
This was however met with great controversy especially from the religious communities, most of which claimed that this was a defilement to the sanctity of marriage. They alleged that these kinds of marriages created an environment that is not fit for the healthy development of children. This controversy is what led to the development of Proposition 8, an amendment that was taken to the polls in 2008 (Head, 2009).
Proposition 8, which is motion supporting a ban on same sex marriage, was passed in 2008 by way of vote, since the proposition to ban same sex marriage got more than 50 percent of the votes. This was however opposed by the court indicating that it denied the rights of the minority for no reason.
They indicated that the law proposing the ban on same sex marriage had no legal ground but was only aimed at denying the gay couples the rights associated with legal and registered marriages (National Conference of State Legislature, 2008). The argument of the judge who supported this ban was that the society needed children to be raised in heterosexual families for healthy growth.
Five months before passing prop 8, same sex marriages had been legalized by the Supreme Court and this led to the bending of some laws which previously limited the definition of marriage to the union between man and woman (National conference of state legislatures, 2008).
Prop 8 was the first constitutional amendment of its kind and this explains why it was subject to a lot of controversy. This was opposed by the gay community who alleged that it required an approval of 2/3 of the legislative votes before being brought out in the public for the polls, a condition that was not adhered to.
The Supreme Court of California maintains that the ban on same sex marriages is unethical since every person is at liberty to make their own decisions as long as they do not interfere with other people’s freedom, a ruling made in 2012.
This court denounced the prop 8 ban, comparing this ban to racial or gender discriminations, which were highly condemned. It stated that this ruling failed to provide a reasonable ground for the denial of these so called human rights. (University of California, 2010). Still in the opposition of the ban, the Supreme Court went ahead to claim same sex marriages did not in any way affect the upbringing of children.
Still in this regard the judges of the Supreme Court required that federal state of California to revise rules related to the ban of same sex marriages. In this regard, the California university law publication article Sexuality & gender law:
Assessing the field, envisioning the future: symposium (2010) indicates that a family does not necessarily constitute woman and man, but any two people with a mutual consent to live together as husband and wife.
From this ruling it is clear that the Supreme Court supports same sex marriages and requires that any law that stands in the way of this should be repealed so that to give them privileges similar to those of their heterosexual counterparts (Leff, 2012).
In conclusion, the position of same sex marriages in California seems to be a great controversy to date. The gay citizens are few but with the backup they get from the legal body, they stand a chance to win in the debate. In the 2-1 ruling, it would have been argued that the sitting judge at that time was supporting his own interest owing to his sexual nature.
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This allegation was however proved wrong when the judge who succeeded him maintained the same position (CNN US, 2008). They simply believe it is against human rights to ban same sex marriages. Therefore Prop8 appears to be losing its stand since it is discredited for lack of sufficient basis for the claims.
CNN US. (2008). California ban on same sex marriage struck down, Sexual orientation. Web.
Head, T. (2009). Reason to support Gay marriage and oppose the Federal Marriage Amendments. Civil Liberties. Web.
Leff, L. (2012). Prop 8, California’s same-sex marriage Ban, Declared unconstitutional. Web.
National Conference of state legislatures. (2008). Defining marriage: Defense of marriage Acts and same Sex Marriage laws. Web.
University of California. (2010). Sexuality & gender law: Assessing the field, envisioning the future: symposium. Ucla Law Review, 57 (5), 1129-1544.