Perry v. Brown

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: 02-07-2012
  • Case #: 10-16696
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Renhardt for the court; CIrcuit Judge Hawkins; Circuit Judge N.R. Smith dissenting
  • Full Text Opinion

Proposition 8, which defines marriage in California as between a man and a woman, is an unconstitutional violation of Equal Protection.

Plaintiffs brought this action challenging California's constitutional amendment brought by Proposition 8 which defined marriage as being between a man and women. The district court held that by stripping same-sex couples of the right to be 'married' while having all of the same rights and privileges of marriage under California's statutes, Proposition 8 violated the Equal Protection clause of the United States Constitution. The Ninth Circuit held there must be "at least a legitimate reason for the passage of the a law that treats different classes of people differently." The Court held that there was no legitimate reason the law could have been enacted including those set forth by the proponent of protecting California's interest in child-rearing, preventing same-sex marriage of being taught in schools, making significant changes to marriage laws without more consideration and caution and protecting religious freedom. The Court found that by stripping same-sex couples of the right to call their unions marriage, the amendment violated the California Constitution and the United States Constitution. The Court also decided the proponents had standing to appeal the district court decision based on California statutory language. AFFIRMED
Dissenting Opinion by Circuit Judge N.R. Smith

Advanced Search