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California Proposition 8, officially titled with "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry," was a state proposition on the General Election ballot of November 4, 2008. The proposition required a simple majority to pass. As prepared by the State Attorney General, the proposition is summarized as follows: 
  • Changes the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California.
  • Provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

Fiscal Impact from the Legislative Analyst:Over next few years, potential revenue loss, mainly sales taxes, totaling in the several tens of millions of dollars, to state and local governments. In the long run, likely little fiscal impact on state and local governments.

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote on this measure means:
The California Constitution will specify that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
A NO vote on this measure means:
A NO vote on this measure means: Marriage between individuals of the same sex would continue to be valid or recognized in California.
Impartial Analysis from the Legislative AnalystBACKGROUND

In March 2000, California voters passed Proposition 22 to specify in state law that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. In May 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that the statute enacted by Proposition 22 and other statutes that limit marriage to a relationship between a man and a woman violated the equal protection clause of the California Constitution. It also held that individuals of the same sex have the right to marry under the California Constitution. As a result of the ruling, marriage between individuals of the same sex is currently valid or recognized in the state.

PROPOSAL

This measure amends the California Constitution to specify that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. As a result, notwithstanding the California Supreme Court ruling of May 2008, marriage would be limited to individuals of the opposite sex, and individuals of the same sex would not have the right to marry in California.

FISCAL EFFECTS

Because marriage between individuals of the same sex is currently valid in California, there would likely be an increase in spending on weddings by same-sex couples in California over the next few years. This would result in increased revenue, primarily sales tax revenue, to state and local governments.

By specifying that marriage between individuals of the same sex is not valid or recognized, this measure could result in revenue loss, mainly from sales taxes, to state and local governments. Over the next few years, this loss could potentially total in the several tens of millions of dollars. Over the long run, this measure would likely have little fiscal impact on state and local governments.

Arguments Submitted to the Secretary of State

  • Summary of Arguments FOR Proposition 8:
  • Proposition 8 restores what 61% of voters already approved: marriage is only between a man and a woman. Four judges in San Francisco should not have overturned the people's vote. Prop. 8 fixes that mistake by reaffirming traditional marriage, but doesn't take away any rights or benefits from gay domestic partners.
  • Summary of Arguments AGAINST Proposition 8:
  • Equality under the law is a fundamental freedom. Regardless of how we feel about marriage, singling people out to be treated differently is wrong. Prop. 8 won't affect our schools, but it will mean loving couples are treated differently under our Constitution and denied equal protection under the law. http://www.NoonProp8.com 

    Full Text of Proposition 8 This initiative measure is submitted to the people in accordance with the provisions of Article II, Section 8, of the California Constitution.

    This initiative measure expressly amends the California Constitution by adding a section thereto; therefore, new provisions proposed to be added are printed in italic type to indicate that they are new.

    SECTION 1. Title This measure shall be known and may be cited as the "California Marriage Protection Act."

    SECTION 2. Section 7.5 is added to Article I of the California Constitution, to read:

    SEC. 7.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

  • Proposition 8 passed by approximately 52% among the general voting population. Immediately after the election, multiple protests and demonstrations took place throughout the state, calling for the ballot measure to be revoked. Currently, the California State Supreme Court is reviewing the proposition to decide whether the proposition itself is unconstitutional. A ruling is expected by mid-2009.
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    What's your opinion on California Proposition 8 (2008)?
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    Quick Tip by . August 04, 2010
    There's a symbolism that matters. Partnerships may equate with marriage legally, but the blanket refusal via Prop 8 of denying marital status to same-sex couples rankles my gay friends-- two of whom got married in the small window of opportunity before 8 passed. The example of their love and commitment for my own family, and my sons, represented an important recognition of equality that now 59% voters in my state refuse to support; the Mormon & Catholic Churches funding the pro-8 campaign.
    Quick Tip by . August 04, 2010
    This makes me ashamed to be an American. We're going to look back in history with great shame on this, and I can't believe the country hasn't grown enough from our past civil rights issues to know and do better. I'm appalled at hypocrisy of Americans guarding the institution of marriage, considering how we've devalued and disrespected it in every possible way, as evidenced by the divorce rate, let alone the fact that it's become a reality show punch line. Just pathetic, all the way around.
    review by . October 16, 2008
    Despite the majority of Americans being against it due to their own bigotry, the 15th Amendment was added to the constitution in 1870, granting the right to vote to all citizens regardless of race. Once again, America moved forward- became MORE free, stronger, closer to the truth at the center of our Declaration of Independance and Constitution. Today, some Californians are trying to amend our state Constitution in a different way. This time, they want to make our citizens LESS free. They want to …
    review by . August 20, 2009
    Prop. 8 is a bad law that fool's around with the state's constitution.  The people that backed this proposition preyed upon people's closed minded fears.  I feel that if people of the same sex wanted to marry they should.  But to mess around with California's state constitution just so they can't marry is totally wrong and it'll be litigated for years in the court system.  When it came time to vote the good Captain could not co-sign such closed minded people's views and did not …
    review by . December 24, 2008
    California's Proposition 8, from the 2008 general election, eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry. This is not just a loss for California, but a loss for mankind.     Throughout history, people have turned to California as a place of growth, progress, and a place where futures are born. People come to California from all over the world because they're attracted to the mentality that makes the state such a desirable place in which to live. People are laid back, casual, …
    Quick Tip by . August 20, 2009
    Was really surprised that this went through. Really, California? How unfortunate.
    Quick Tip by . August 20, 2009
    You really don't want to let me get married??
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