The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that proponents of Proposition 8 did not have proper legal standing to appeal a lower court decision.
The 5 to 4 vote in Hollingsworth v. Perry was written by Chief Justice John Roberts; the dissent by Justice Anthony Kennedy. The majority opinion vacates the Ninth Circuit federal appeals court ruling and remands “with instruction to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.” That should leave the more broadly decided district court opinion intact.
Many had hoped for a more sweeping pronouncement, but the result is nevertheless another major step forward. It will make California the 13th state (plus the District of Columbia) to treat same-sex couples equally in marriage licensing, and it establishes a third of the nation’s population as living in marriage equality states.
Lisa Keen, co-author of Strangers to the Law: Gay People on Trial, covers this and other issues at KeenNewsService.com.