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How Gay Marriage Became a Constitutional Right
Civil Liberties: Is Marriage a Right?
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. Legal challenges to Proposition 8 were presented by opponents quickly after its approval.
Viewpoint: Civil Rights and Gay Rights
Is marriage a civil right? Federal civil rights law in the U. Using this standard, marriage has long been established as a fundamental right of all Americans.
Same-sex marriage is a civil rights issue for many gay Americans, but many African Americans disagree. Byron Rushing D-Mass. Thomas Allen Harris explores Rushing's work on behalf of gay marriage in a documentary short, Marriage Equality. When Proposition 8 appeared on the California ballot in November , exit polls reported that seven in 10 African-American voters supported the ban on same-sex marriage.