Timeline of California's Prop 8

After the 2008 election, voters set off a years-long chain of events surrounding the legislation

Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014  |  Updated 7:24 AM PDT
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Prop 8 Timeline

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March 5, 2009: Craig Winsor (L) and Victor Choban argue about Proposition 8 as people rally in front of the California Supreme Court Building

A look at key events in the courtroom and at the polling place involving Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in California:

June 28, 2013 - Same-sex marriages resume with wedding of two plaintiffs in Prop. 8 case after an unexpected court order cleared the way for same-sex marriage licenses for the first time in 4 1/2 years.

June 26, 2013 - The Supreme Court decided that it could not rule on a challenge to Prop. 8, paving the way for same-sex marriage to resume in California after years of legal battles.

Feb. 28, 2013 - The Obama Administration filed a SCOTUS brief asking the court to allow same-sex marriage to resume in California.

Dec. 7, 2012 - The Supreme Court announced it will take up California's ban on same-sex marriage.

Feb. 21, 2012 - Prop. 8 supporters announce they plan to ask the 9th Circuit to reconsider the case.

Feb. 7, 2012 - A three-judge panel rules that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional.

Nov. 17, 2011 - The California Supreme Court agreed Prop. 8 sponsors have the right to defend the ballot measure in court.

Mar. 23, 2011 - A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the request to allow same-sex marriages to resume.

Mar. 1, 2011 - Attorney General Kamala Harris submitted a petition to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asking that same-sex marriages be allowed to resume while the court considers the constitutionality of the ban.

Feb. 16, 2011 - The California Supreme Court agreed to answer a request by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which last month requested a clarification on the ability of Prop 8 supporters to press the case in appellate courts. The high court indicated it could hear arguments on the issue as early as September.

Dec. 6, 2010 - The hearing in front of the three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals lasted nearly three hours. 

Nov. 30, 2010 - A three-judge panel (Stephen Reinhardt, 79, liberal; Randy Smith, 61, conservative; Michael Hawkins, 65, moderate) are named to decide on the appeal of the federal court ruling.  

Aug. 16, 2010 - A decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals trumps Walker’s ruling and puts same-sex marriages in California on hold indefinitely.  

Aug. 12, 2010 - Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that gay marriages can begin again on Aug. 18.

Aug. 4, 2010 - In his 136-page ruling, Federal District Court Judge Vaughn Walker decided that Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on same sex marriage passed in 2008, is unconstitutional.

Feb. 9, 2010 - Trial watchers learn 9th District Court of Appeals Judge Vaughn Walker, assigned to the case randomly, is himself gay.

May 26, 2009 - The California Supreme Court upheld Prop 8 determining the proposition legally adjusted the state's constitution.  

Dec. 20, 2008 - In response to three lawsuits seeking to invalidate Proposition 8, the Yes on 8 campaign filed a brief with the state Supreme Court asking to nullify marriages of an estimated 18,000 same-sex couples who exchanged vows before the passage of Prop 8.  

Nov. 20, 2008 - The California Supreme Court accepted three lawsuits seeking to nullify Proposition 8, but refused to allow couples to resume marrying until it ruled.  

Nov. 4, 2008 - California voters adopted the constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage, overturning the state Supreme Court decision just months earlier giving gay couples the right to wed. Three legal groups filed a writ petition the day after the election urging the state Supreme Court to invalidate the measure.  

June 27, 2008 - The "Limit on Marriage" initiative was designated as Prop. 8 for the November ballot.

March 7, 2000 - California voters passed Proposition 22 which defined marriage as between a man and a woman. One week later, the California Supreme Court ruled the law was unconstitutional because it discriminated against gays, and an estimated 18,000 same-sex couples got married in the ensuing months.

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