There was the possibility that it could take up to twenty-five days before same sex couples can legally marry after the Circuit Court struck down Prop 8. Attorney General Kamala Harris then urged the court to act sooner. Meanwhile, Governor Jerry Brown directed all California counties to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples when the Circuit Court acts. For the first time since Prop 8 was passed, same sex couples would have the same right to marry as heterosexual couples had enjoyed for centuries.
This court ruling gave all couples regardless of sexual preference the legal right to marry, which reflects the changing tide of public opinion on this issue. The fifty-nine percent of Americans supported marriage equality in 2012 according to a Gallop poll. People under the age of thirty have been changing their attitude towards marriage equality. Even President Obama could no longer remain quiet on the subject of marriage equality. This policy change not only reflects a change in national attitudes it will also have economic impacts as well.
This change in policy not only provides same sex couples the right to marriage, it also opens legal and economic doors. All married couples and their families can now enjoy social security, tax and veteran's benefits that had been previously reserved only for heterosexual couples. There are approximately 1,100 benefits now available to same sex couples that they did not have access to in the past.
Policies can change social ideas or as in this case, changing social ideas can change policy. Giving same sex couples the legal path to marriage opens doors to the countries acceptance of all people despite their differences. It provides all married couples the right to a higher standard of financial security and stability. California Attorney General Kamala Harris summed up the policy change well when she said upon hearing the court's