The California Supreme Court heard arguments on the future of a ballot initiative that outlawed such unions. But the justices, who ruled just last May that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, also appeared reluctant to undo the 18, marriages conducted before the ban was passed. In their questions from the bench, the justices, particularly Joyce L. Kennard, strongly suggested that they did not want to second-guess the will of the voters.
California bans gay marriage: Activists in liberal state stunned as judges uphold 'people's will'
RealClearPolitics - US News - Jan 27, - California gay marriage trial moves to a close
Proposition 8 , known informally as Prop 8 , was a California ballot proposition and a state constitutional amendment passed in the November California state elections. The proposition was created by opponents of same-sex marriage in advance  of the California Supreme Court 's May appeal ruling, In re Marriage Cases , which followed the short-lived same-sex weddings controversy and found the previous ban on same-sex marriage Proposition 22 , unconstitutional. Proposition 8 was ultimately ruled unconstitutional by a federal court on different grounds in , although the court decision did not go into effect until June 26, , following the conclusion of proponents' appeals. Proposition 8 countermanded the ruling by adding the same provision as in Proposition 22 to the California Constitution , providing that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California", thereby superseding the ruling. Horton , in , on the grounds that it "carved out a limited [or 'narrow'] exception to the state equal protection clause"; in his dissent, Justice Carlos R. Moreno wrote that exceptions to the equal protection clause could not be made by any majority since its whole purpose was to protect minorities against the will of a majority.
California Upholds Gay Marriage Ban
At the same time, the ruling allows about 18, same-sex couples who'd already married to retain the rights they attained during the brief six-month period that gay marriage was legal in the state. Still, the couple, who have two children, ages 13 and 14, said that they are now in a "weird class," as the ruling preserved their 8-month-old same sex-marriage. There is this kind of equality situation where people are maybe thinking we aren't really married. But I worry for my kids and how they feel.
For opponents of the ban, passed by voters in November, the three-hour California Supreme Court hearing is both a critical legal test and a moment to rally their forces. For opponents of the measure, Proposition 8, the three-hour hearing is a critical legal test. But it is also, they say, a prime moment to rally their forces and demonstrate resilience after a stinging election loss that many among them believe could have been avoided.