California's Supreme Court upheld the state's ban on same-sex marriage Tuesday - although it said the 18,000 couples wed before the voter-approved ban will remain legal.Challenges to the outcome of the proposition, which passed with strong bipartisan support, would have created anarchy. There were no grounds on which to overturn the will of the people. It was passed within the terms of the California rules regarding ballot measures and propositions.
The split decision came as the court rejected arguments from gay rights activists that the November vote went too far in shutting down same-sex marriage statewide.
The court was divided 6-1 over the ban's constitutionality, but unanimous in protecting the marriages conducted in the months before voters approved Proposition 8.
The hotly-contested and highly controversial issue passed with about 52% of the vote.
The effect of the measure is simple. The state will not legitimize further gay marriages, but some 18,000 couples married under the state Supreme Court's ruling authorizing gay marriage will be valid and binding.
Proponents of gay marriage hope to get another ballot measure ready for November, which means this particular battle is far from over.