The Prop 8 Background
Proposition 8 is an the initiative passed by voters in 2008 which stated that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." On February 7, 2012, a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declared that Proposition 8 was a violation of the rights of gay and lesbian people who want to get married and was deemed unconstitutional, but a stay has been placed on the ruling, barring any marriages from taking place during further appeals.
Those fighting for the reinstatement of Proposition 8 requested that the U.S. Supreme Court review the case. On December 7, 2012, the Supreme Court agreed to issue a ruling on the case by late June 2013.
The Recent Developments
As of today, February 26, 2013, a group of 75 major Republican party members have sent a signed brief to the Supreme Court arguing that it should strike down California’s Proposition 8. Whether their reasons for signing are because of a true belief, a jump on the bandwagon, or some sort of political move doesn't matter.
The fact that this group of Republicans have decided to show support for gay marriage not just in interviews and in the media but in an official legal briefing sent to the Supreme Court is of as much significance as a state legalizing gay marriage.
What does this mean for New Jersey?
The ruling on Proposition 8 means nothing for New Jersey directly. With Christie firm on his decision to veto any gay marriage bill, the decision to put New Jersey gay marriage up for a vote in November is already being considered, along with a vote to raise minimum wage which Christie also refuses to pass.
A federal decision to get rid of Proposition 8, however, could mean a federal decision in favor of federally recognized gay marriage, potentially deeming the state-by-state battle for marriage equality over.
What to look out for next.
The country now waits for President Obama's reaction to the Republican submission. Having already spoken out in favor of gay rights and marriage equality, the question is now whether he will speak out directly on Proposition 8.