The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice


In 2008, California voters enacted Proposition 8, carving out an exception to the State constitution’s equal protection, due process, and privacy guarantees. After litigation in state court proved ineffective, same-sex couples sought relief in federal court in the widely discussed case Perry v. Schwarzenegger. Though the trial court released its decision only three weeks ago, the case has received attention by the national media and by legal circles throughout the country. This Article addresses the progression of the case of Perry from the filing of the case to its current status before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. It offers an in-depth discussion of the history of the case and the trial court’s conclusions as to the parties Equal Protection and Due Process arguments, hopefully to serve as a springboard and reference for future scholarly discussions of this case’s potential impact on sexual orientation’s constitutional situation. This Article concludes by analyzing the possible outcomes of the case. It eschews commentators’ predictions about the ultimate resolution of the case, given the variety of factors that could affect Perry’s outcome. Instead, this Article outlines the potential impacts of the possible resolutions of the case for the objectives of the religious right and, with more emphasis, for the civil rights goals of the gay and lesbian community.

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St. Mary's University School of Law



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