Timeline: Same-Sex Marriage in California

In 2008, voters approved Prop 8 and kicked off years of legal briefs and hearings

A look at the legal fight involving Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in California.

July 20: San Diego County Assessor Recorder-Clerk Ernie Dronenburg filed a petition with the California Supreme Court on Friday asking for a temporary stay on issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

July 12 - Proponents of Prop 8 filed a legal motion claiming that state officials ordering county clerks to issue the licenses have no legal authority to do so.

July 1 - San Diego County handed out its first marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

June 29 - The Prop 8 legal team filed an emergency petition to U.S. Supreme Court to stop the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal's ruling that lifted the stay on same-sex marriages.

June 28 - Same-sex marriages resume with wedding of two plaintiffs in Prop. 8 case after an unexpected court order cleared the way for same-sex marriage licenses for the first time in more than four years.

June 26 - The Supreme Court decided that it could not rule on a challenge to Prop. 8, paving the way for same-sex marriage to resume in California after years of legal battles.

Feb. 28 - The Obama Administration filed a SCOTUS brief asking the court to allow same-sex marriages to resume in California.

Dec. 7, 2012 -- The Supreme Court announced it will take up California's ban on same-sex marriage. 

Feb. 21, 2012  -- Prop 8 supporters announce they plan to ask the 9th Circuit to reconsider the case.

Feb. 7, 2012  -- A three-judge panel rules that Prop 8 is unconstitutional.

Feb. 2, 2012  - A federal appeals court ruled in San Francisco that a video recording of a 2010 trial on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 must remain sealed.

Dec. 8, 2011 - The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments on whether the decision to strike down Proposition 8 should be overturned because Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker failed to recuse himself or disclose he was in a gay relationship.

Nov. 17, 2011 – The California Supreme Court agreed Prop 8 sponsors have the right to defend the ballot measure in court.

June 14, 2011 - Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware said Tuesday that former Chief Judge Vaughn Walker did not have to divulge whether he wanted to marry his own gay partner before he declared last year that voter-approved Proposition 8 was unconstitutional. The decision struck down a brief filed by those backing Prop 8 who argued Walker should have recused himself.

Mar. 23, 2011 - A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the request to allow same-sex marriages to resume.

Mar. 1, 2011 - Attorney General Kamala Harris submitted a petition to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asking that same-sex marriages be allowed to resume while the court considers the constitutionality of the ban.

Feb. 16, 2011 - The California Supreme Court agreed to answer a request by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which last month requested a clarification on the ability of Prop 8 supporters to press the case in appellate courts. The high court indicated it could hear arguments on the issue as early as September.

Jan. 4, 2011 – The three-judge panel asked the California Supreme Court for advice before issuing a decision. They asked if the sponsors of Prop 8 should be allowed to have legal standing to defend the ban against a federal challenge. If the answer is no, then the appeal must be dismissed.

Dec. 6, 2010 – The hearing in front of the three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals lasted nearly three hours.

Nov. 30, 2010 – A three-judge panel (Stephen Reinhardt, 79, liberal; Randy Smith, 61, conservative; Michael Hawkins, 65, moderate) are named to decide on the appeal of the federal court ruling.

Aug. 16, 2010 – A decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals trumps Walker’s ruling and puts same-sex marriages in California on hold indefinitely.

Aug. 12, 2010 - Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled Thursday that gay marriages can begin again on Aug. 18.

Aug. 4, 2010 - In his 136-page ruling, Federal District Court Judge Vaughn Walker decided that Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on same sex marriage passed in 2008, is unconstitutional.

Feb. 9, 2010 – Trial watchers learn 9th District Court of Appeals Judge Vaughn Walker, assigned to the case randomly, is himself gay.

Jan. 25, 2010 – Plaintiffs in the federal trial played a video clip highlighting Pastor Jim Garlow of La Mesa’s Skyline Church as an argument for why justices should rule the ban as unconstitutional.

Jan. 19, 2010 San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, a Republican who supports same-sex marriage, testified at the federal trial, recounting his decision to sign a City Council resolution backing the efforts to legalize same-sex marriage.

Jan. 11, 2010 – Two gay and lesbian couples are at the center of a federal trial on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 in San Francisco. The trial, the nation’s first to examine if a ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution, was a media madhouse.

May 31, 2009 – San Diego area faith-based groups and churches organized a rally to celebrate the decision by the state Supreme Court.

May 26, 2009The California Supreme Court upheld Prop 8 determining the proposition legally adjusted the state's constitution.Thousands of San Diegans rallied from Balboa Park to the Hall of Justice to protest the ruling.

March 5, 2009 – Supporters and opponents of Prop 8 gathered to watch the California Supreme Court hearing. The deadline for an opinion was set for June 1.

Dec. 20, 2008 - In response to three lawsuits seeking to invalidate Proposition 8, the Yes on 8 campaign filed a brief with the state Supreme Court asking to nullify marriages of an estimated 18,000 same-sex couples who exchanged vows before the passage of Prop 8.

Nov. 20, 2008 - The California Supreme Court accepted three lawsuits seeking to nullify Proposition 8, but refused to allow couples to resume marrying until it ruled.

Nov. 12, 2008San Diegans protested outside the Mormon Temple near La Jolla, angered over reports that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints contributed millions in support of Prop 8. The Mormon Church released a statement saying, in part, "It is wrong to target the church and its sacred places of worship for being part of the Democratic process."

Nov. 9, 2008Thousands marched in San Diego from Hillcrest to Balboa Park to protest the passage of Prop 8. The ACLU filed a petition with the state Supreme Court arguing the measure should have never been on the ballot in the first place.

Nov. 5, 2008 - Three legal groups filed a writ petition the day after the election urging the state Supreme Court to invalidate the measure.

Nov. 4, 2008 - California voters adopted the constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage, overturning the state Supreme Court decision just months earlier giving gay couples the right to wed.

Nov. 3, 2008Thousands flocked to Hillcrest in defense of same-sex marriage with San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, whose daughter Lisa is a lesbian, led the charge.

Oct. 27, 2008 - Ten days before the vote on Prop 8, the Associated Press analyzed campaign finance records showing total contributions either for or against the measure surpassed $60 million.

Oct. 22, 2008 - Melissa Etheridge, Mary J. Blige, Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand and more celebs raise $3.9 million for the “No on Prop 8” campaign.

June 27, 2008 - The "Limit on Marriage" initiative was designated as Prop 8 for the November ballot.

May 15, 2008 -  The California Supreme Court ruled the law was unconstitutional because it discriminated against gays, and an estimated 18,000 same-sex couples got married in the ensuing months.

 March 7, 2000 - California voters passed Proposition 22 which defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

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