Print This Post

Seven months after voters passed Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California, the state supreme court ruled on May 26 that the ban is legal. The decision also maintained that the 18,000 same-sex couples who married before the election are still legally married.

The decision is expected to be appealed in federal courts. Same-sex couples can legally marry in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and Maine.

The decision to uphold the ban on the gay marriage was disappointing, but not unexpected. Since March 5 when the hearings began, the word had been that the odds were not in our favor. I was afraid of what might happen to the 18,000 couples who had been married in the months that gay marriage was legal, especially now that I personally know a few of them as a result of my involvement with Gay-Straight Alliance. I couldn’t bear the thought of having to see them if the California Supreme Court had decided that their marriage was no longer going to be “valid.”

Thankfully, that did not happen and the 18,000 couples married prior to Propositon 8 will recognized by California. Still, I had hoped that with states such as Iowa and Vermont taking steps to legalize gay marriage, there would be extra pressure on the California Supreme Court to overturn the ban. I had hoped for a speedy change of heart. Instead it will be a long uphill battle to reach the point that Iowa and Vermont are at now. This is a minor victory for the other side that I know will not last long.
Rene Franco, 17, Providence HS (Burbank)

I understand why the California Supreme Court found the ban to be legal because it was voted by the people and that follows the policy of the majority decides. However, what people don’t understand is that they voted for something that is unconstitutional. They are denying a right to a group of people simply because they are homosexual. Religion and government are supposed to be separate. Prop. 8 is based on the idea that marriage is between a man and a woman as stated in the Bible. However, the government is not built upon the ideologies of the Bible. In the Declaration of Independence, it was written that we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I believe marriage is a way of pursuing happiness and a right that should not be taken away from ANYONE.
Jacky Garcia, 16, Lynwood HS

To me, this is fair. Being a Catholic, I wasn’t ever for same-sex marriages being legal. But I did have a slight problem with all of the marriages that had already taken place being voided. I think to some degree, the decision is reasonable to both sides because same-sex marriage supporters based some of their arguments for overturning Prop. 8 on the fact that existing marriages would be cancelled. A few months back I was “YES on Prop 8” and it makes me smile knowing that California will keep marriage the way the majority of Californians want it to be.
Kevin Ko, 13, Wilson HS (Hacienda Heights)

On Tuesday I knew they were going to decide to overturn Proposition 8 at 10 a.m. I had been counting down to this day. Unfortunately, I just found out that this horrible proposition was not overturned. I was extremely disappointed because the vicious cycle never stops. Homosexuals keep being discriminated against. The government is corrupt, forming laws that are against a certain group of people. I am a proud supporter of gay rights and I strongly believe that people should not be discriminated because of their sexual orientation. Stop the H8 on Prop. 8!
Ashley Hansack, 16, King Drew Medical Magnet HS

What’s popular is not always right and what’s right is not always popular. The passage of Proposition 8, although favored by a mjaority of people who voted in California, diminished the rights of a minority group in California. Was is right? Of course not. Did enough people recognize the faults in a proposition that was a push backward against human rights? Obviously not.

It’s been seven months since voters approved Proposition 8. After its passage, many who opposed the proposition argued that it violated the state constituion and hoped that the California State Supreme Court would repeal it. The Court failed to recognized the difference between the church and state. Although I find this a violation of the human rights of the gay community, I respect the decision of the Court to uphold Proposition 8. Judicial review is used to make sure that all laws abide to the Constitution, but the court still has an obligation to honor the will of the people.
Stephany Yong, 15, Walnut HS

This is a touchy subject, but I believe that the ban on same sex marriage is unacceptable. It’s easy for some to say, “Hey, I’m not gay so it’s not my problem.” But it’s an issue that tears at the moral fabric of our society. To deny gay people the right to be married is to say that marriage, despite being a huge foundation of society, is a privilege. But this is not true, marriage is a right. And taking away gay people’s ability to get married is a violation of such rights, and therefore it is discrimination in its most blatant form.
Ben Levine, 16, Palisades Charter HS

I do not think same sex marriage should be allowed because there are already domestic partner benefits. Marriage is defined in the Bible as between man and woman. Domestic partner benefits give same-sex partners all the same legal rights as marriage, so there shouldn’t be a dispute over rights at all. If same-sex couples really wanted a religious equivalent of a marriage they should create their own branch of religion that allows same-sex marriage but with a different name.
Justin Lam, Glendora HS

I thought that Proposition 8 was unfair to gay couples. If a person loved another, why would someone want to deny them their own marriage, gay or not?
Jodi Lam, 13, Sandburg MS (Glendora)

Proposition 8 has been one of the most controversial laws in California. In the middle of the chaos, I was confused. Coming from a conservative family and values, the thought of two people of the same sex taking part in a “sacred” ceremony restricted for two members of the opposite sex, was something that my parents did not understand. It was one of those things that just “was not meant to be.” But I put myself in the shoes of those struggling for their rights, trying to survive the constant oppression. I realized that anyone who wants to commit to and spend the rest of their lives with the person they love should have that right.
Genesis Godoy, 16, Environmental Charter HS

I am so outraged that California has decided to ban same-sex marriages. I find it constitutionally wrong and immoral. The thing that upsets me the most about this issue is when people try to use the Bible as a source to justify their discrimination. It is sad knowing that our government has once again adjusted the law to satisfy those who are morally sick. As I look back on history and see how African Americans were brutally treated, I find it very similar to the hand gays and lesbians are dealt today. I also look at the struggle of blacks in America as a source of hope, because with the help of other minorities we conquered the hate and hurt. I believe we can make a difference and we can help overturn Proposition 8 and save our citizens.
Taila Proctor-Jackson, 13, Village Christian MS (Sun Valley)

I think it’s bull****! In which part of the Declaration of Independence does it say all STRAIGHT men are created equal? Nowhere. It says ALL men are created equal. Therefore I believe we should all be treated equal no matter if some people are attracted to the same sex. Last I heard this was Land of the Free. Free to say what you want to say. Free to do whatever you want. Free to be gay. Love is rare. It comes between a man and a woman and sometimes it comes in couples of the same sex.

We’re all human. If you stab a gay person they will bleed like a straight person will. Gays haven’t brought harm to anyone so why bring harm to them? There is only one world, and in that one world we should treat each other with compassion and love like the family that we are.

We shouldn’t ban gay marriage because some people find it disgusting or weird. We shouldn’t ban it at all. I believe if we ban gay marriage we should ban marriage of the opposite sex as well. Sounds stupid but we are all equal. We are all one. No one is ever special or different.
Patricia Chavarria, 18, Cesar Chavez HS

The day after the November elections I was honestly saddened to hear the results. Even before the day of, my own parents strongly supported Prop. 8 and voted for it. Being raised in a Catholic household by very old-fashioned parents, I fight with them about issues like this. They have a very narrow view of same-sex marriages and see it as just plain wrong. They say things like, “God made man and woman to find everything within each other. That is how you came about into existence. A man with a man and a woman with a woman just isn’t normal. It’s disgusting.” They would disapprove if I was gay and would do anything to “cure” me. Ridiculous!

I imagine what must it feel like to have a vast majority of your state vote against you. What must it feel like to know you can’t join your life with the person you love, while others can? This makes me feel disheartened about my future and being able to marry a man because it’s the “legitimate thing to do” and other couples out there can’t fulfill the same happiness. LOVE is LOVE—a universal language that doesn’t care about age, color or gender and I’m all for it. Isn’t love what makes our world go around? Why would anyone want to stop it?

So now I realize that the battle isn’t over, I’m happy to know that those who oppose Prop. 8 haven’t given up. It gives me hope that one day this proposition will be overturned and gay couples can have the right to happily marry.
Marisela Toro, 18, Animo Film and Theatre Arts Charter HS

For more on this topic:

Speaking up for gay marriage.” Working on a gay-rights documentary helped Rene, 17, see the importance of this issue.

It’s about marriage, not hatred.” In this story Elliot, 16, says he feels like he was unfairly attacked for his views opposing marriage for same-sex couples.

Gay couples should be allowed to marry.” At first it wasn’t important to Stephany, 14, but she came to see this as a civil rights issue.

Click here to read what teens had to say last spring when California first allowed marriages for same-sex couples.