Originally Posted by Zerbie
Technically, it was a constitutional amendment. I don't think those can technically be considered 'laws'. It was not a legislative statute, but an alteration to the state constitution passed by voters.
The interesting twist here is that the CA state constitution has an equal protection clause in it. Courts will soon rule on whether or not it can be permitted, legally, for voters to amend the constitution the way they did, as it is in flagrant violation of the equal protection clause already IN their constitution.
Another important and confusing wrinkle has to do with whether Prop 8 was an amendment to the CA constitution, which they claimed it was, or a revision to the CA constitution. It's a distinction that is unique to California. An amendment merely adds to the state constituton, while a revision makes a fundamental change to its core principles. An amendment melts into the rest of the constitution seamlessly, while a revision alters previously accepted boundaries. As Zerbie says, Prop 8 necessarily contradicts the equal protection clause; either there is equal protection and Prop 8 is invalid or Prop 8 is valid and the term 'equal protection' has been silently redefined. Because a revision is so much broader in scope, the requirements to get one on the ballot are much greater and include a vote by the legislature. Prop 8 didn't make that stop in the legislature and likely would not have made it through if it had. Therefore (according to many, including me), Prop 8 as passed is invalid and cannot be implimented.