The Supreme Court in California has backed a constitutional ban on gay marriage in the state, just a year after unexpectedly opening the door to same-sex unions. After the ruling in May 2008, outraged conservatives organised a referendum, putting the issue to California’s voters. 52 per cent supported a ban – and now the Supreme court has backed voter opinion.
In San Fransisco, one supporter of the ban said: “I chose to be here to represent family values, the way I was raised, and to show that marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognised in California.” Gay-rights campaigners shouted “Shame on you” outside the court-house in San Fransisco, and immediately promised to continue their fight to have the ban lifted again. One of them, Jayne-Dean McGilpin said: “The movement for intolerance in this state is powerful. And we have a long battle ahead of us.” The ruling is not retroactive though, and the 18,000 couples who married before the ban came in will not be affected. “We’re happy for our friends. We just wish we lived in a world where we could all have the same rights,” said one pro-marriage supporter. Same-sex marriage is legal in only five US states. Before the latest California court decision, a flurry of states had voted to allow gay marriages, seeming to turn the tide against the conservatives who wanted them banned.