California Proposition 8, the ban of same-sex marriage in California, has repeatedly not been defended by state officials. Monday, March 14, supporters of Prop 8 asked the California Supreme Court to let them defend Prop 8 since it was not being defended by the state.
The court announced last month that it would decide if the pending federal appeal of the invalidation of Prop 8 could continue. The proponents argue that all of the work that they have done in creating, defending, and supporting the proposition has created a “personal, particularized interest in the validity of their initiative entitling them to defend the initiative as real parties in interest if it is challenged in court.” They also argue that the entitlement that they have to appeal is taken from state law, and that “…allowing official proponents to intervene to vindicate the People’s interest in successful initiatives when public officials will not do so is necessary to preserve the People’s initiative power…”
The initiative has been undefended again and again by state officials, and an appeals court in California last September held that it is not necessary for them to defend it. If it is ruled by the Supreme Court of California that these proponents are not allowed to defend Prop 8 under state law, then the case will most likely be dismissed by the court of appeals.
The stay that prohibited gay couples from marrying was requested to be lifted earlier this month by Attorney General of California, Kamala Harris. She felt that it was irrational to continue the stay, and that the appeal would not likely succeed. She also feels that laws about sexual orientation should be given a higher standard of review. The stay is still in force as of this writing, and was originally ordered last August after an appeal was being decided on by the court after Prop 8 was overturned last year by a federal judge.