FACTBOX: Gay marriage battle back in California high court

Thu Mar 5, 2009 3:09am EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article
[-] Text [+]

(Reuters) - The California Supreme Court on Thursday will hear oral arguments in a case on the legality of the state's same-sex marriage ban, an amendment to the state constitution that voters passed last November.

Following are key dates in the history of the same-sex marriage battle in the state.

* March 7, 2000: California voters pass Proposition 22, a law preventing the state from recognizing same-sex marriages.

* February 12, 2004: San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom orders the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples, arguing that the gay marriage ban was unconstitutional.

* September 29, 2005: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoes a bill passed by the state legislature that would have legalized same-sex marriage, saying the issue was for the courts and the people.

* May 15, 2008: The California Supreme Court strikes down the Prop 22 same-sex marriage ban in a 4-3 vote, ruling that gender restrictions on marriage violate state equal rights protections. The ruling opens the way to gay marriage.

* June 16, 2008: Same-sex marriages begin in California. Some 18,000 couples take advantage of legalization and wed.

* November 4, 2008: California voters again ban gay marriage by changing the state constitution through Proposition 8. The vote passes with 52 percent support and immediately stops same-sex marriage.

* March 5, 2009: The California Supreme Court will hear the oral arguments on the legality of the state's Proposition gay marriage ban. A ruling is due within 90 days.

(Editing by Eric Walsh)

(San Francisco Newsroom +1 415 677 3900)