The California Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the state's controversial gay marriage ban, but allowed gay and lesbian marriages to stand.

Here's some initial reactions to the decision.

Protesters gathered outside the San Francisco courthouse chanted “Shame on you.”

“Today's ruling is a huge blow to Americans everywhere who care about equality,” Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said in a statement. “The court has allowed a bare majority of voters to write same-sex couples out of basic constitutional protections.”

“We are very gratified that the California Supreme Court has upheld Proposition 8,” said Andrew Pugno, general counsel for, the principal backer of the gay marriage ban. “This is the culmination of years of hard work to preserve marriage in California. … The voters have decided this issue and their views should be respected.”

“I know today's decision is a tremendous disappointment for many people,” said California Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat and strong supporter of gay marriage. “But I also know that the opinions of Californians are changing on this issue, and I believe that equal marriage rights will one day be the law in this state.”

“At ever opportunity, the people of California have voted to protect marriage because they recognize the far reaching consequences that redefining marriage will have for children, the family, religious liberties, businesses and every facet of American society,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. “Today's decision should encourage pro-family activists not only in California but across the country. Marriage redefinition is not inevitable unless advocates of the family stand aside and allow it to happen.”

“It's disheartening to see a core constitutional principle set aside by simple majority vote, particularly in our nation's most populous state,” New York Representative Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat, who is sponsoring the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), a bill that would grant gay and lesbian spouses the right to sponsor an immigrant for U.S. citizenship, said in a statement. “I, however, applaud the California Supreme Court for wisely recognizing the legality and legitimacy of the 18,000 same-sex marriages carried out in California before that right was so unjustly taken away.”

“Today, we express our deepest disappointment in the California Supreme Court's decision, which continues to deprive an entire class of Californians the fundamental freedom to marry,” said Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) President Neil G. Giuliano.

California Assembly Speaker Karen Bass offered: “Today is a setback for equality in California, but it will not be the end of the story. … The people of California and the tide of history are clearly moving towards equality.”