Proposition 8 in California Ruled Unconstitutional

US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco has struck down the California anti-gay marriage voter initiative known as Proposition 8 which had amended the state constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Ruling on Perry et al v. Schwarzenegger et al, which was filed by Republican attorney Ted Olson and Democratic attorney David Boies, Judge Walker found that gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry.

From the decision:

Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that oppositesex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

More from the San Francisco Chronicle:

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker found that the ban on same-sex marriage violated the constitutional due process and equal protection rights of a pair of couples - one lesbian and one gay - who sued.

The judge ordered an injunction against enforcement of Prop. 8 but issued a temporary stay until he decides whether to suspend his ruling while it is being appealed. The stay means that same-sex couples are still prohibited from marrying.

"Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license," Walker wrote in a 136-page ruling.

He said the ballot measure "prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis."

The constitutional right to marry, Walker said, "protects an individual's choice of marital partner regardless of gender." He also said domestic partnerships in California, available to same-sex couples, are a "substitute and inferior institution" that lack the social meaning and cultural status of marriage.

Gov. Schwarzenegger issued a statement saying, "For the hundreds of thousands of Californians in gay and lesbian households who are managing their day-to-day lives, this decision affirms the full legal protections and safeguards I believe everyone deserves."

Prop. 8's sponsors are planning an immediate appeal.

It's pretty quiet right here in the Castro but I suspect that in a few hours there will be a gathering down at Harvey Milk Plaza on Market & Castro to celebrate. I should note that the trial court has granted a stay of entry of judgment until the motion for a stay pending appeal can be decided. The plaintiffs must respond by August 6. The ruling is expected to be appealed to the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and then up to the US Supreme Court.

The full ruling is below the fold.

Perry v. Schwarzennegger - Trial Court Decision

Tags: California, LGBT Issues, Gay Marriage, Proposition 8 (all tags)


1 Comment

Time and a Place

I've made alot of enemies on this issue, arguing that there is a time and a place to fight the battle to legalize same sex union.

So, I guess I won't make any friends with the anti-gay marriage crowd when I say that now would be a good time to go in for a full court press.

What is needed, in my view - is a media campaign that outlines how a gay married couple can be a stable platform for the growth of children and good family values.  Being gay doesn't mean being on the fringe - it means that you've either chosen or inherited a disposition to fall in love with someone else whose genitals match your own. But it also has to mean that you can be a good mom, or dad. That's crucial.

Because marriage is really all about the family - and the family is a base political unit of all political interaction.  We tend to take out our feelings about our fathers, on people like presidents - we tend to behave in ways that we could otherwise reconcile with our parents - when we talk about government, or lack of government - we tend to psychologically transfer alot of what we think, and feel about society from the filter of our family experience.

And in my view, the word has to get out - that the majority of children coming from gay families are by and large pretty cool kids.  Surprisingly, they're also statistically likely to be heterosexual.

Marriage is not just a ceremony where society is asked to come up and pat you on the back ... its a bond between families. Yours, and your spouses.  Its a commitment that lasts forever. Nobody ever truly gets divorced - they might move away from the person they married and loved - but a part of them stays with the other person, and a part of that other person travels with them.  It's far more simple to live in a world where divorce is extremely rare, marriage roles have settled down and people look at the bond they are entering - when they marry - as by and large a permanent thing. Nothing in our hunter/gatherer existence voids that bond no matter how polyamorous we might be within its context.

So. The time and the place is now. Marriage as an issue needs to move into the churches. People who want to stand up for same sex marriage should do so in their local church or synagogue, temple, mosque - or diocese.  The issue is no longer about what could happen with a political hot potato - and whether or not one party or another can use this to make political hay - with this ruling, the issue is now about whether or not the gay community can adopt the maturity requisite to finally carve into the social status quo - a place where their union can be held in equal regard to those of heterosexual orientation.


And if Lady Ga Ga ever wants to stop being celibate, can someone send her to me?



by Trey Rentz 2010-08-04 09:34PM | 0 recs


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