WEST HOLLYWOOD (CBS) — Hundreds of jubilant supporters of same sex marriage marched through West Hollywood Tuesday in celebration of the Federal Appeals Court decision that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional because it violates the rights of gays and lesbians.
Prop 8 is the Defense of Marriage Act, which restricts marriage in California to a man and a woman.
Voters passed the act in 2008, but it was overturned by a US District Court judge nearly two years later. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling Tuesday.
“Gay marriage isn’t what ruins straight marriage,” says demonstrator Lloyd McDonald. “Divorce is what ruins straight marriage.”
For others the celebration is more personal and immediate.
Fabrice Marino and Donny Aldo have been engaged for a year. They feel the ruling brings them one step closer to getting legally married.
“It’s not gay marriage; it’s marriage,” says Aldo. “It’s the union of two people wanting to spend their lives together, and you should be able to be given the rights and the benefits to choose to do so.”
Prop 8 supporters say Tuesday’s celebration may be premature. They warn this battle is long from over.
“Likely we will appeal to the US Supreme Court,” says Ron Prentice of the Protect Marriage Coalition. “We have great hopes in the Supreme Court overturning this, because the Ninth Circuit is the most overturned court in the history of the country.”
USC constitutional law professor David Cruz says the opinion from the Ninth Circuit Court was so narrowly focused on the specific situation in California that there’s no guarantee the Supreme Court will even take the case.
If the Supreme Court does hear the case, Cruz says winning the day for Prop 8 could be an uphill battle.
“It’s also now not clear at all that they would have a good chance of winning,” says Cruz. “They’ve got to persuade five judges that Proposition 8 is constitutional.”
Prop 8 supporters now face the choice of taking their case directly to the Supreme Court, or appealing to a larger panel of the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals.