Lawmakers want CA voters to officially strike down Prop. 8, the ban on gay marriage measure

Carlos Granda Image
Wednesday, February 15, 2023
Same-sex marriage measure could return to California ballot
Though it was struck down in the courts, Prop. 8 to ban gay marriage remains on paper in the California constitution. Some lawmakers want to change that.

Back in 2008 Proposition 8 passed in California with more than 52% of the vote. It banned the state from recognizing same-sex marriages.

"I remember just being devastated that my own state, my fellow Californians, had voted to make people like me second-class citizens," recalls state Sen. Scott Weiner from San Francisco.

The U.S. Supreme Court eventually allowed same-sex marriages in California but Prop. 8 technically remains in the state constitution. Weiner and Assemblymember Evan Low from Cupertino have introduced a constitutional amendment, ACA5, to rescind it.

"Today is Valentine's Day and it's always the right time for love," says Low.

"We need to get this out of our constitution, because it's a stain on the consitution," adds Weiner.

Jonathan Keller from the California Family Council has a different view.

"Marriage is a sacred bond. It was created by God and we do believe that marriage is between a man and a woman," says Keller.

The California Family Council was one of the original proponents of Proposition 8. It stands by it and expects a long debate.

"We also think it's very important for religious liberty that people of faith be able to continue to practice their deeply-held religious beliefs," says Keller.

After the elimination of Roe v. Wade, opponents of Prop. 8 are concerned the U.S. Supreme Court in the future could change same-sex marriage.

Low says "We realize that marriage equality could also be eroded given the direction of the United States Supreme Court, so we must not take anything for granted. We must not take our rights for granted."

"We welcome the good faith public debate, and we hope it actually leads us to a better, respectful understanding between our friends who are in the LGBT community and between people of faith," says Keller.

The measure needs to be approved in the Legislature by a two-thirds vote, and then it would be up to the voters. Backers are aiming for the referendum to be on the ballot in 2024.