Following up on a recent blog entry, found here, regarding the Connecticut Supreme Court’s holding that same-sex couples have the right to marry, in November, 52% of California voters approved an amendment to the State Constitution banning same-sex marriage, effectively overturning a California Supreme Court decision from earlier this year. Known as Proposition 8, the initiative sparked an expensive and controversial campaign for and against the rights of gay individuals.
The California Supreme Court has indicated that it will determine whether the vote was constitutional, as well as the legality of same-sex marriages that have occurred since the Court’s decision earlier this year, but has not suspended the ban in the interim. Legislative approval of the measure is required because it has been challenged as a substantial revision of the State’s Constitution.
Similarly, Arizona voters just approved Proposition 102, which amends the State Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman.
As stated in the earlier entry discussing the situation in Connecticut, New Jersey has not legalized same-sex marriage, but does permit civil unions pursuant to N.J.S.A. 37:1-36, thereby allowing individuals in civil unions all the rights granted to married couples. This law was passed after the New Jersey Supreme Court declared in Lewis v. Harris, 908 A.2d 196 (2006), that same-sex couples are entitled to the same equal protection under the State Constitution as heterosexual couples.