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California voters will decide whether to repeal state’s Prop 8 same sex marriage ban in 2024

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images 14 Jul 23

Originally Published: 14 JUL 23 13:51 ET

By Melissa Alonso and Shania Shelton, CNN

(CNN) — California voters will have the chance to remove language barring same-sex marriage from their state’s constitution in 2024’s general election.

The California Senate passed a proposed constitutional amendment on Thursday that would repeal Proposition 8 – which voters approved in 2008 to ban the state from recognizing same-sex marriages. The state Senate voted 31-0 to repeal the proposition, with all but one of the chamber’s eight Republicans not casting a vote. The California Assembly passed the measure in June with the two thirds majority needed to place it on the ballot in 2024.

The amendment, ACA 5, would remove language from the state constitution put in place under Proposition 8 stating “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

California voters approved Proposition 8 with 52% of the vote shortly after the state Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriages are legal, CNN previously reported. The measure put gay and lesbian marriages on hold in the state, but a federal appeals court in 2010 deemed Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

The case made its way to the US Supreme Court, which dismissed an appeal in 2013 over same-sex marriage on jurisdictional grounds, ruling private parties did not have standing to defend California’s voter-approved ballot measure barring gay and lesbian couples from state-sanctioned wedlock.

The ruling cleared the way for same-sex marriages in the state to resume and Proposition 8 has remained on the books but unenforced.

Democratic Assemblyman Evan Low and state Sen. Scott Wiener, authors of the constitutional amendment, introduced the legislation in February. Low introduced amended language in June calling marriage equality a “fundamental right” and said, “Voters deserve the opportunity to remove a black mark from the California constitution.”

“Although, same-sex marriage is legal, it could be temporary,” Low said in a statement announcing the amended language in June. “We have to remain vigilant, unwavering in our dedication to equality.”

Same sex marriage is the law of the land and Prop. 8 has no place in our constitution,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, said in February when the proposed amendment was first introduced. “It’s time that our laws affirm marriage equality regardless of who you are or who you love. California stands with the LGBTQ+ community and their right to live freely.”

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