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Desert Locals React to Prop 8 Ruling

Jessica Flores

Desert Locals React to Prop 8 Ruling

CREATED Feb. 7, 2012

PALM SPRINGS-- The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the California voter-approved law banning same-sex marriage in the state. 


Hundreds of gay couples legally wed in the Coachella Valley before Proposition 8 passed, and now other same-sex couples are one step closer to being able to do the same.


"I know that even with this ruling we have a long battle ahead of us," said Dale Deneen, who married his partner in 2008.


There was just a five month window back in 2008 when gay marriage was legal, the months between the California Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage and California voters banning it. 


More than 600 same-sex couples married in Palm Springs, including Ron Sabacek and his partner.


"We just hope that other people can start to get married again," said Sabacek.


But any excitement at the new is tempered by the reality that there's a long road ahead. 


"The battle's been won, but the war is not over," said John O'conner, Executive Director of the LGBT Community Center of the Desert.


Backers of Proposition 8 appealed after a lower court ruled the proposition unconstitutional and they say this time they'll appeal again.


"We are disappointed by the 2-1 decision and certainly agree with the dissenting opinion that there is rational and legitimate governmental reason to protect marriage between only a man and a woman," said Ron Prentice, Chairman of the Prop 8 Executive Committee. 


The next legal step could put the case before the Supreme Court.


"Generally speaking in a case like this there is going to be a stay until a final decision is made by the supreme court," John Patrick Dolan.


Even with the latest ruling, same-sex couples still will not be able to marry in California until a stay on the law is lifted.


"Our marriage doesn't affect anybody else, it just affects us and I can't understand why people are so opposed to giving us the basic rights that other people have," said Steve Haught of Palm Springs.


Jessica Flores, KMIR6 News