California Awaits Prop 8 Decision

The moment of truth: California's Supreme Court will issue its decision on Proposition 8, the voter initiative that banned same-sex marriage last November, today at 10 am. It doesn't seem likely the court will overturn Proposition 8 as unconstitutional, but about 18,000 couples who married when it was still legal (from May to November 2008) are anxious to find out if their unions will still be recognized after Tuesday. Some of the court's justices have suggested they do not think Proposition 8 should be applied retroactively, but advocates against gay marriage say that allowing some couples to stay married would create "two classes" of gay couples in the state (though, apparently, they do not think having "two classes" of all couples--married straights and unmarried gays--is a problem). Law professor Karl M. Manheim said that same-sex couples would be able to sue in federal court on due-process grounds if California retroactively invalidates their marriages.