Federal Court Dismisses Prop. 8 Challenge Against State: "Don't Worry, You're Married"

By Joel Zand on July 17, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A federal court just dismissed a gay couple's legal challenge to California's Proposition 8 ('Prop 8'), but only as it applies to the State of California, holding that the couple lacked standing (i.e., the legal ability to sue) to sue the State since they were already married.

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California held that Christopher Hammer and Arthur Smelt's 2008 same-sex marriage remained valid.  The couple was married in California before Prop. 8 passed, but when it was still legally permissble for their marriage to be performed.

The decision only dismisses the couple's legal claims the case against California, but preserves their constitutional challenge against the federal government's Defense of Marriage Act. The U.S. District Court will hear arguments about those remaining legal claims on August 3, 2009.

You can read the complete decision below:

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