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Prop. 8: Bay Area's Gay Rights Advocates Celebrate Same-Sex Marriage Rulings

Publication Date: 
June 26, 2013
San Jose Mercury News
Josh Richman, Joshua Melvin and Erin Ivie

Professo Emeritus Michael Wald is quoted in this San Jose Mercury News article on how the recent Supreme Court same-sex marriage rulings may "lay the groundwork for future challenges to gay-marriage bans." 

Wearing wedding gowns and waving rainbow flags, they gathered by the hundreds early Wednesday morning at City Hall, where the corridors echoed with joy in 2004 as thousands of same-sex couples tied the knot -- only to see their vows squashed by the state's highest court.

Nervous silence turned to wild cheers as the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act and all but voided Proposition 8, which has banned same-sex marriage in California for more than four years.


Michael Wald, a Stanford Law School professor emeritus, said the DOMA ruling might lay the groundwork for future challenges to gay-marriage bans. He predicted courts will see more lawsuits brought by same-sex couples who marry in one state but then move to another and demand recognition there. He said the DOMA ruling's affirmation of equal-protection rights might bolster those couples' arguments that states with same-sex marriage bans must recognize their bonds.

He and other legal experts predict that gay-marriage activists might still find legislatures and ballot measures to be better bets for gaining ground -- particularly in states like California where there's the strongest possibility of winning.