Vote of the electorate is upheld by the California Supreme Court on a 6-1 split, but the court ruled unanimously that existing same-sex marriages will also remain valid. Longtime Supreme Court watcher Maura Dolan in the LAT:
In an opinion written by Chief Justice Ronald M. George, the state high court ruled today that the November initiative was not an illegal constitutional revision, as gay rights lawyers contended, nor unconstitutional because it took away an inalienable right, as Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown argued.
Only Justice Carlos R. Moreno, the court's sole Democrat, wanted Proposition 8 struck down as an illegal constitutional revision.
Justice Joyce L. Kennard, who voted with the majority last year to give gays marriage rights, joined George and the court's four other justices in voting to uphold Proposition 8.
The case for overturning the initiative was widely viewed as a long shot. Gay rights lawyers had no solid legal precedent on their side, and some of the court's earlier holdings on constitutional revisions mildly undercut their arguments.
But gay marriage advocates captured a wide array of support in the case, with civil rights groups, legal scholars and even some churches urging the court to overturn the measure. Supporters of the measure included many churches and religious organizations.
Here's the full text of the Supreme Court ruling: "In a sense, this trilogy of cases illustrates the variety of limitations that our constitutional system imposes upon each branch of government — the executive, the legislative, and the judicial...."
* Villaraigosa reacts: After the jump.
LOS ANGELES - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa issued the following statement today in response to the state Supreme Court's ruling on Proposition 8:
"I traveled to Sacramento today to work with our state legislators to help address a budget crisis caused by a broken system in California - one that puts the process of balancing our books in the hands of a few swing votes in the legislature and requires us to cross a nearly insurmountable threshold just to keep our state’s finances afloat.
"At the same time, the state Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, stating that the future of thousands of Californians - the extent of our state's commitment to equal opportunity for all citizens to solidify bonds of love and build healthy, caring families - can be determined by the will of a bare majority of voters.
"These two situations reflect a chilling truth we must face as a community and as a state: That when a bare majority can strip away a fundamental right - yet it takes a two-thirds vote to pass a budget - then our system is fundamentally broken.
"While there is much to criticize in today’s court decision and there will be plenty of debates about our path forward, one thing is clear: This debate will rest in the hands of the people. And that might just be the best place for it because the fight for equality is not about morality or religion, our schools or our places of work. It's about real people and real human beings. It's about men and women trying to lead successful lives with those they love. It's about parents hoping to raise a family and ready to accept the responsibilities that come along with a lifelong commitment to your spouse and your children.
"In the coming years - as we make our case to voters and as the majority of our neighbors come to understand the real, painful, human impact of Prop 8 across California - I am confident that this state will have a change of heart, will reiterate its broader commitment to justice for every citizen, and will overturn this unjust ban at the ballot box."