Prop. 8 remains on the books 15 years later. California’s LGBTQ+ lawmakers want to repeal it.
Members of California’s legislative LGBTQ caucus unveiled a proposal Monday to repeal Proposition 8, the voter-approved measure which for years banned same-sex marriage in the state.
Voters passed Prop. 8 in 2008. It was subsequently overturned in 2015 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality.
But the languageremains on the books.
“People are horrified when they are reminded that the California Constitution explicitly discriminates against LGBTQ people,” said Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). “While that scar is not enforceable because of Supreme Court precedent … we know that we need to get this out of our constitution.”
Authors of the legislation say it is intended to protect unions between interracial and same-sex couples.
To amend the state constitution,the measure requires approval from two-thirds of lawmakers in both legislative chambers. If it clears that hurdle, it will go before voters for final approval in 2024.
Republican Assembly member Greg Wallis of Palm Springs attended a press event announcing the legislation, lending bipartisan support to the effort.
Proud to stand with my colleagues as coauthor of ACA 5 to protect marriage equality in CA.— Assemblymember Greg Wallis (@AsmWallis) June 5, 2023
Marriage is a contract and commitment between any two people in love and that should be made clear in our state constitution. 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/jSyJDsZjqy
Carlos Marquez with ACLU California Action said the proposal is “not about just repealing a vestige of discrimination in the state constitution. It's also about replacing rank discrimination with an affirmative fundamental protection for marriage.”
The new proposal comes a year after voters overwhelmingly voted to add the right to “reproductive freedom” – including the choice to have an abortion and to use contraception – to the state constitution.
That measure was in response to the Supreme Court decision to overturn the federal right to an abortion, returning the issue to individual states.
Wiener and other lawmakers noted in his concurring opinion in that case, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the court should“reconsider” a number of previous opinions, including on same-sex marriage and consensual sexual activity.
The proposal’s lead author, Democratic Assembly member Evan Low of Santa Clara County, took that as a warning “that marriage equality will be next on the chopping block. That’s why this is imperative,” he said.
In December, President Joe Biden signed a law to ensure same-sexmarriages are lawfully recognized.