California Supreme Court justices heard arguments today on lawsuits seeking to overturn the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage as thousands demonstrated outside the San Francisco courthouse. Gay-rights advocates are urging the court to overturn Proposition 8 on the grounds it was put before voters improperly, or at least prematurely. The measure's sponsors argue that it would be a miscarriage of justice for the court to overturn the results of a fair election.
The Supreme Court is hearing arguments on three points: Is Proposition 8 invalid because it constitutes a revision of, rather than an amendment to, the California constitution; does it violate the separation of powers doctrine; and if it's not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before the adoption of Proposition 8? The Supreme Court's seven justices have 90 days after the oral arguments to issue a ruling.