Proposition 8: What's Next?

November 5, 2008 7:29:08 PM PST
California voters have approved Proposition 8 with 52 percent of the vote. The ballot measure defines marriage as only between a man and a woman.The Fresno County Clerk's Office has decided to stop performing same sex marriages. It's waiting for directions from the state to clarify whether Prop. 8 takes effect now or after the election results are certified on December 13. Same sex couples who are already married aren't sure what the decision will mean for them.

Thousands of married same sex couples across the state are wondering if they're still legally wed the morning after California voters passed Proposition 8.

Robert Letsinger said, "That's why I came down here to find out, and they don't know if I'm married or not either, they think I am but in my heart it doesn't feel like I am."

The Fresno County Clerk's Office has performed 279 same sex marriages since the state Supreme Court made it legal in June. But County Clerk Victor Salazar says for now that number won't grow.

Victor Salazar said, "We are suspending issuing marriage licenses for same sex couples until we get direction from the state or the county counsel, and we expect that to happen sometime soon."

Supporters of Proposition 8 are celebrating its passage, calling it a victory for traditional family values and the majority voice.

Pastor Jim Franklin said, "What I believe people were making a statement is they didn't want activist judges stepping in and deciding for them. It's still a nation of we the people."

But opponents of the ballot measure are not ready to concede defeat. The American Civil Liberties Union and two other legal groups have filed a petition urging the State Supreme Court to invalidate the proposition. And the no on Prop 8 campaign says it's waiting for an estimated two to three million provisional and absentee ballots to be counted. Meanwhile same sex couples are left in limbo.

Letsinger said, "I'm just concerned that our rights will be violated, that we aren't going to have the same civil rights as everyone else."

For now the state attorney general says same sex marriages performed before the election are still valid. And some other counties, including Merced, are continuing to issue same sex marriage licenses until the state tells them to stop.

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