Prop 8 / DOMA SCOTUS Decision: What You Need To Know

As the community waits in anticipation of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to announce its ruling on two vitally important cases, Proposition 8 and the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA), plans have already been made, re-checked numerous times and shared amongst the many groups who will help to facilitate the overall response, good or bad.  Here are some of the things you should be aware of when the decision is “finally” announced.

We anticipate the decision will be made during June on the regular schedule of announcements from SCOTUS, either a Monday or Thursday, and typically at 9am Eastern time.  There is a slight possibility that the decision may not come in June, but may be delayed until July or later. Most however believe that the decision will be announced on either Thursday 6/20, Monday 6/24 or Thursday 6/27.

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SCOTUS could potentially rule on both cases and announce decisions on the same day, or they could announce decisions on different days.  Again, most believe (or at least hope) that they will announce in both cases on the same day. This would certainly make everyone’s life a lot easier for so many different reasons.


There are multiple possible outcomes in this case. SCOTUS “could” issue a sweeping ruling to overturn all same-sex marriage bans throughout the entire U.S.A., or they could issue a more limited ruling to simply overturn the ban in California only, or they could potentially simply rule that the Proposition 8 proponents do not have standing before the court thus the decision would revert to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling and Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision would stand, meaning that Proposition 8 would be overturned.  These are the most “likely” and desired options. There is also, of course, a chance that the court could hear the case and uphold the Proposition 8 proponents case, ruling same-sex marriage in California illegal.


This matters focuses on a particular clause of the Defense of Marriage Act, and whether or not it violates the equal protection clause under the constitution, and the states’ rights.  If the court elects to uphold the clause, then nothing much will change.  If however the court striked down the clause, then the Federal Government will be required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in those states where it is legal, and will have to provide those couples with the same righs and benefits that opposite-sex couples currently enjoy.

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CCOP has been working, planning and liaising with a number of different organizations in anticipation of these rulings. The San Francisco Poice Department, the Day of Decision organization, SF Pride, Castro Community Benefits District and others are all invovled in the planning of what we hope will be a joyous and affirming celebration when the decisions come down.  The date of the decision announcement will greatly affect the number of people expected to participate, as a decision on 6/27 will certainly include hundreds of thousands more visitors to San Francisco for the annual SF Pride Parade.


Once SCOTUS announces their rulings, plans will swing into operation in the Castro neighborhood in anticipation of large crowds forming to celebrate or stand in solidarity to continue the fight for equality. We certainly hope and anticipate it will be the former – celebration.

If positive results are received from SCOTUS:

  • The 400 and 500 blocks of Castro Street will be closed to traffic from 5:30pm until 9:00pm.  Closures may also extend along 18th Street to Collingwood and Noe.
  • A stage and screen will be established on the 400 block of Castro for music and speeches.
  • A stage for simply music will be established on the 500 block of Castro.
  • Castro Community On Patrol, Day of Decision, SF Pride and others will supply safety volunteers to work alongside the San Francisco Police Department to help ensure a fun, safe and celebratory atmosphere for all attendees.
  • Any vehilces parked on the closed streets after 5:30pm will be blocked in place until the streets re-open at 9:00pm.
  • SF Muni will re-direct their services to adjacent streets and will post information for travellers to allow them to locate alternative bus stops.

Should the SCOTUS decision be negative on both cases:

  • Street closures as above will still occur, but no music stages will be erected.
  • Community leaders and politicians will address the next steps we must take to achieve the equality the community so clearly deserves, and will encourage non-violent, non-destructive avenues of expressing the emotions that will be very apparent.
  • Castro Community On Patrol, Day of Decision, SF Pride and others will supply safety volunteers to work alongside the San Francisco Police Department to help ensure a fun, safe and celebratory atmosphere for all attendees.

As soon as the decision/s from SCOTUS are announced, you are SURE to hear about it from every media outlet in the US.  We’ll certainly be out from noon onwards letting folks know of the plans for the evening and encouraging anyone parked on Castro Street to move their vehicles before 5:30pm rolls around.

Lets HOPE for a POSITIVE outcome in BOTH cases.

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