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Prop. 8 gets court approval

Local opponents call ruling ‘morally wrong.’ Proponents cite other options for gay couples.

May 27, 2009|By Zain Shauk

GLENDALE — Emotions flared Tuesday in Glendale and Burbank just hours after the California Supreme Court upheld a gay-marriage ban approved by voters in November.

Proposition 8, narrowly approved by voters last year with 52% of the vote, amended the state Constitution to define marriage as being between a man and woman, but only after about 18,000 same-sex couples had said their vows.

The court’s ruling on legal challenges of the ban upheld Proposition 8 and will prevent future same-sex unions.

Glendale residents Antoinette Palazzola and Carole Valenzuela, who married in June, will remain legally wed, as will the other couples who tied the knot during the brief period when same-sex unions were permitted.

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Still, the fact that others would be left out of the process was troubling, Palazzola said.

“It’s a piece of paper, but to take that away from gay people is wrong,” she said. “I think it’s morally wrong, and I just think God would accept any marriage as long as it’s to do with love.”

Proponents of Proposition 8 were heartened by the court’s ruling, which they said protected the sanctity of marriage and synced-up with the will of citizens.

There are other options for same-sex couples wanting to spend their lives together, said Pastor Jon Barta of Valley Baptist Church in Burbank, pointing to domestic partnerships for gay couples.

“It’s not like there’s absolutely no provision for homosexual couples,” Barta said. “For me, what it looks like is they want to redefine marriage, and I don’t think that’s appropriate.”

The continuing controversy over same-sex unions prompted anticipation from both sides that the issue would face voters again in upcoming elections.

“Frankly, I don’t believe it is over,” said La Crescenta resident Robin Johnson, who has spoken at the Crescenta Valley Town Council in opposition to gay marriage.

Pastor John Jackson of Glendale’s Church of the Brethren, who supports “loving covenants” regardless of sexual orientation, hoped the law would gain clarity in the future.

“That ruling to me seems somewhat convoluted,” Jackson said. “If they’re going to allow it, then they need to allow it. It seems like a halfway measure to me.”

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