California's Supreme Court upheld Tuesday a ban on same-sex marriages that state voters passed in November, but it allowed about 18,000 same-sex marriages performed before the ban to remain valid.
The ruling was met with chants of "shame on you" from a crowd of about 1,000 people who gathered outside the court building in San Francisco.
The court made the ruling on the constitutionality of Proposition 8. Opponents wanted the amendment nullified. They said the proposition alters California's Constitution and, therefore, under state law, was a revision that requires a constitutional convention.
Attorneys for the opponents also said the proposition, which removed the "marriage" label from same-sex unions, effectively deprived same-sex couples of a fundamental right guaranteed them under the equal-protection clause in the U.S. Constitution.
Justices asked many questions when they heard arguments in the case in March but didn't indicate which way they leaned, instead focusing on winnowing out each attorney's individual argument on the issue.
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