LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Proponents of same-sex marriage danced, shouted and applauded with glee in the streets of West Hollywood Wednesday after the Supreme Court decided they would not rule on California’s controversial Prop 8.
By not ruling in a 5-4 decision, the court, in effect, said the state could again perform same-sex unions. However, opponents of same-sex marriage vowed to fight on with appeals.
Californians passed Prop. 8 in 2008 with 52 percent voting to block gay marriage, but the court of public opinion says 60 percent of Californians now support same-sex marriage.
CBS2’s Amy Johnson talked to many in West Hollywood, a community that is 40 percent LGBT.
“I’m crying, but I’m crying out of joy,” Martha Acevedo said. “I’m crying over the fact we are valid under the law now. Our peers can start treating us equally now.”
Ross Von Matzke said he’s been waiting nearly five years for this day.
“This is the culmination of an almost five-year roller coaster ride. Couples whose marriages have been in limbo, waiting to see how this would all pan out. It’s an emotional day,” Von Matzke said.
Resident Frank Mastronuzzi concurs.
“For me, I am exhilarated. This is what we have been working for, helping couples meet. For couples, there is an end game now. They can get married. We are excited about this, very excited about this.”
Robin Tyler and Diane Olson, the first same-sex couple married in California, celebrated their 20 years together with a wedding cake at lawyer Gloria Allred’s office.
“I’m really happy,” Tyler said. “I’m happy to see same-sex marriage return to California. However, I do want to say one thing. Justice is not just about just us. I wish that the Prop 8 decision had been a wider decision, and that it included all the other states.”
“I believe love is love and I knew we would win,” Olson said, before turning to Allred and adding, “Thank you. We started this and you believed in us.”
Meanwhile, opponents of same-sex unions vowed to keep the fight going, saying they will ask the Supreme Court to rehear the case.
They say the ruling Wednesday was not just an attack on traditional marriage, but also an attack of the will of the people.
“Why should I vote? Does my vote matter? I vote for something and judges overturn it,” Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com, told CBS2’s Rick Garcia.
The fight over Prop. 8 has been personal on both sides of the issue. Many religious groups and conservative organizations say voters made their choice in 2008.
“The voters declared we want ‘this’ definition of marriage,” said Karen Kenney, of SFV Patriots. “That has been now wiped clean, so California voters lost their civil rights.”
Prop. 8 supporters say they fear the court will ignore the will of the voter on other issues as well.
“Marriage was the casualty today. What other standards, what other rights in our Constitution will be swept away because judges wanted to impose their will?” Thomasson asked.
He believes this will undermine a state’s ability to decide issues for its people.
“The homosexuality fails to be a civil right with the force of law behind it. That’s what should have been decided. The state’s right to determine what marriage is or what marriage isn’t.”
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called on Americans to continue to defend marriage a union between a man and a woman. The National Organization For Marriage also said the ruling “stained the court.”