legal

Same-sex marriage: Hollingsworth v. Perry

The case was brought on behalf of two same-sex couples, Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier, and Paul Katami and Jeffrey Zarrillo, who wanted to get married in California but were not allowed to under Proposition 8. The attorneys for the case, David Boies and Theodore Olsen, argued that California's Proposition 8 deprived these couples of equal protection under the law upon their request for a marriage license. The state of California, as well as various elected officials in the state, declined to defend the new California constitutional provision. Therefore, proponents of Proposition 8, ProtectMarriage.com, led by Dennis Hollingsworth, sought to intervene as defendants, filling the state's void.

A federal district court and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have found Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional. The Supreme Court dismissed the case, saying the defendants had no standing in court.

  • Feb. 12, 2004

    San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom instructs city officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Over four weeks, nearly 4,000 same-sex couples received marriage licenses.

  • March 11, 2004

    The California Supreme Court unanimously orders San Francisco to stop marrying same-sex couples and announces that it will rule on the legality of the city's actions within the next few months.

  • Aug. 12, 2004

    The California Supreme Court rules unanimously that San Francisco's mayor overstepped his authority by issuing same-sex marriage licenses. In a 5-2 vote, the court declares the 4,000 marriages of gay and lesbian couples that had been sanctioned by the city void.

  • Sept. 29, 2005

    California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoes a marriage equality bill after it passed the state's Senate and Assembly.

  • Oct. 12, 2007

    Schwarzenegger again vetoes a bill that would legalize marriage equality.

  • May 15, 2008

    The California Supreme Court rules that the state's constitution protects a fundamental "right to marry" that extends equally to same-sex couples.

  • Nov. 4, 2008

    California voters pass Proposition 8 and strip thousands of same-sex couples of the rights and responsibilities of marriage they were afforded since May.

  • May 26, 2009

    The California Supreme Court upholds Proposition 8's ban on marriage equality, but also rules that same-sex couples who wed before the election will continue to be married under state law. Two same-sex couples file a legal challenge to Proposition 8 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on May 27.

  • Aug. 4, 2010

    U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker, a federal judge in San Francisco, rules that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

  • Feb. 7, 2012

    A federal appeals court affirms Walker's decision striking down California's ban on marriage for same-sex couples, clearing the way for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on the freedom to marry.

  • May 9, 2012

    President Barack Obama becomes the first sitting president to support marriage equality.

  • July 30, 2012

    Proponents of Proposition 8, including Dennis Hollingsworth, petitioned the Supreme Court to review an appeals court ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

  • Dec. 7, 2012

    The U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear the case.

  • March 26, 2013

    The Supreme Court hears arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry.

  • June 26, 2013

    Case dismissed. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the defendants in the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry have no standing in court, effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in California.

Source: Center for American Progress.

Quick overview of DOMASee the timeline of the Windsor v. U.S. case

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