Prop 8

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 7 that California's controversial Proposition 8 ballot initiative, which banned same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional. Before Prop 8's passage in November 2008, about 18,000 same-sex couples got marriage licenses in California.

The 2-1 decision did not address whether gay people have a constitutional right to marry but ruled that Prop 8 violates the equal-protection clause of the 14th Amendment because it targets a class of people. The decision sets up a showdown pitting human rights against states' rights. In a previous gay-marriage case in Minnesota, the Supreme Court upheld the right of states to...

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