Prop 8 borders on conclusion

After months of being on hiatus the Proposition 8 trial, known as Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, is set to wrap up on June 16, when Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker will hear closing arguments. Walker said he wanted the extra time to review all the evidence before hearing lawyers give their final statements.

Prop 8 was passed in the November 2008 election and immediately banned the right of gay couples in the state to marry. Two gay couples, backed by numerous supporters, took the case to trial claiming it violated their rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the case "charges that Proposition 8 violates federal due process and equal protection guarantees, issues that were not raised before the California Supreme Court."

Joey Zhang, a sophomore Business major at SMC, is an opponent of the proposition and would like to see changes in the definition of marriage, to allow equal rights for all. She believes that it is "ok for girls, guys, bisexuals, and transgenders" to marry.

The definition of marriage according to the California Constitution has been changing and challenged for over a decade now. The debate over whether gay couples should have a right to marry reached an all time high in the 2008 election when Prop 8 was passed.

After Prop 8 passed, protesters rallied around the state in staggering numbers, garnering national attention and demanding equal rights.

Historically, California law has vacillated between the allowance and restriction of gay marriage. It began to heat up in 2000 when Proposition 22 was passed. This law not only prohibited same-sex marriage, but also denied recognition of same-sex marriages contracted in other states.

In May 2008, Prop 22 was struck down by the California Supreme Court for being contrary to the state constitution. This breakthrough allowed for same sex-marriages. From May to November 2008 gay and lesbian were legally married.

In response to this ruling, Californians approved Prop 8, and marriages were immediately banned. With closing statements to be heard next month, it is not yet known what the outcome of this trial will be.