Judge Declares Proposition 8 Unconstitutional

In a 136-page ruling, Judge Vaughn Walker has declared Proposition 8, the measure banning same-sex marriage in California, unconstitutional under both the due-process and equal-protection clauses.

Walker

Says the ruling's conclusion:

"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 opposite-
sex 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."

And its remedies:

"Plaintiffs have demonstrated by overwhelming evidence
that Proposition 8 violates their due process and equal protection
rights and that they will continue to suffer these constitutional
violations until state officials cease enforcement of Proposition
8. California is able to issue marriage licenses to same-sex
couples, as it has already issued 18,000 marriage licenses to same-
sex couples and has not suffered any demonstrated harm as a result,
see FF 64-66; moreover, California officials have chosen not to
defend Proposition 8 in these proceedings."

“Because Proposition 8 is unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, the court orders entry of judgment permanently enjoining its enforcement; prohibiting the official defendants from applying or enforcing Proposition 8 and directing the official defendants that all persons under their control or supervision shall not apply or enforce Proposition 8.”

Read the ruling below. We'll have further analysis soon…

FF_&_CL_FINAL

Comments

  1. One of the CA 36,000 says

    @Tribute: And may the heavens rain an eternal torrent of shit, piss and Boston Market macaroni and cheese upon the heads of the members of NOM, AFA, CWA and all right-wing fundamentalist Christians who would agitate stupid, ignorant Americans into voting away the basic human rights of their fellow citizens.

    And then rain broken glass upon them.

    Then Bactine.

    Then more shit, just for fun.

    Asshole fuckheads.

  2. jexer says

    Not surprised… not unexpected… but then again, I was wrong when I expected Bush wouldn’t get re-elected… so I tend not to have too much confidence in my expectations. 😉

    But none the less… YAY!!!!!

  3. Josh says

    Does this mean that same-sex couples can get married again in California immediately?

    “Because Proposition 8 is unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, the court orders entry of judgment permanently enjoining its enforcement; prohibiting the official defendants from applying or enforcing Proposition 8 and directing the official defendants that all persons under their control or supervision shall not apply or enforce Proposition 8.”

  4. Caliboy says

    Great News!! To all those from Temecula, ca who voted and protested YESon8, In ur face ignorant, close-minded aholes!!! So much more to be done!!

  5. Hurley says

    GOOD!!! As it should be. But lets hope it actually sticks this time. Some people are never going to be satisfied win or lose. I know gays who are not into the gay marriage, and some straights who are for it. Hopefully it wont be opposed again, but Im sure will be someone complaining.

  6. anon says

    The ninth will probably uphold the ruling, but the SC will probably strike it down. In the meantime, the ruling will be stayed and it will help Republican candidates in the fall. Otherwise, great news!

  7. Brian in Texas says

    Fox news has already shit on the ruling by pointing out the fact that Judge Walker is one of two openly gay federal judges; he’s prejudiced; and that this ruling is a slap in the face to the voters of California.

    No surprises.

  8. says

    Justice and reason prevail today. For that we can be thankful and thank Judge Walker.

    And the ruling, even though I’ve only had time to skim it and though my mind does not absorb legalize, is an amazingly clear and satisfying read. As expected, our opponents and the supporters of Prop 8 do not come off well in this. Rationality is on our side, and that will not change.

    Onward!

  9. yeahisaidit says

    I can’t believe it…Chris Matthews’ assessment of this story made me cry…I was holding it all together emotionally on this because I know there is so much to be done still, but out of the blue my face sprung a leak and was wet with tears! So, does that mean theirs hope for me after all,lol?

  10. Stephen Stillwell says

    My partner of over 39 years and I got married in DC in June and had a religious blessing a week later in Tucson. As each country, each state recognizes us – my heart fills with joy.

  11. LetSodomRing says

    I have talked extensively with my lawyer buddy about this. If the Supremes take this case up, they will absolutely overturn the ruling. Kennedy is the swing vote and he has said absolutely that gay marriage is not covered by the 14th. So what then? Best case scenario that’s achievable: The 9th affirms this ruling, and SCOTUS refuses certiorari on it. This way, the ruling will be binding on the states in the 9th, but not on any other. And the Supreme Court can rule on a gay marriage ban some other time. Hopefully by then the bench will be more liberal, and it will produce a ruling that covers all the states. Otherwise, if SCOTUS overturns the ruling, it will set a civil rights precedent that will be hard to overcome (took almost a century to overturn the rulings on slavery and such).

  12. FunMe says

    I’m hanging out my hotel overlooking Lake Travis vacationing in Texas (yeah, I know, but mom lives here) and totally we’re both celebrating this historic first victory for EQUALITY!

    As someone said here in a post yesterday, having this go all the way to the Supremes will expose the HATRED and stupid arguments of this unAmerican PropHate law.

    Can I say YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    More champagne for me. :-)

    Meanwhile, sign letter to Obama:

    http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/6006/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2252

    ASK THE PRESIDENT TO SUPPORT FULL MARRIAGE EQUALITY.

  13. Joe says

    Thank you Jesus. I don’t want to get married, but no one should be able to discriminate against our gay brothers and lesbian sisters. Proposition 8 was pure hate. I am ashamed for our society that it ever passsed. Morman supporters are biased ass holes. God bless them for their sins against humanity.

  14. LetSodomRing says

    I was likely wrong in my previous comment about Kennedy outright supporting gay marriage bans. It was O’Connor’s concurrence with Kennedy’s majority opinion in Lawrence v. Texas where she said gay marriage bans could still be constitutional. It is entirely possible that Kennedy will uphold this ruling. I’m not finding much on his opposition to gay marriage. So we may have gay marriage in all 50 states before long.

  15. says

    Bravo to this judge! Religious views cannot trump the rights of others.

    As a straight gal, I can’t see any way possible for the marriage of two men or two women to be detrimental or damaging to my own opposite gender marriage. There simply is no valid reasoning to deny same gender couples getting married.

  16. blackdays says

    A very sad day. It’s so difficult to protect my children as it is from immorality, this just shows how modern people are shunning traditional values for their own pleasures just so they can feel better about themselves whether right or wrong.

  17. Linda says

    Proposition 8 Unconstitutional? You mean to tell me that Leviticus, was just the original fundamental Republican (emphasis on mental) who had not made it out of the closet (kinda like Ted Haggard)? Lets face it was not in the Ten Commandments or even addressed by Jesus the son of God, so are we surprised with this ruling, its about time.

  18. Chris says

    Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

    Seems like our nation is turning back into a Sodom and Gomorrah… hmmm, I wonder how long God will wait to destroy us?

  19. Linda says

    Proposition 8 Unconstitutional? You mean to tell me that Leviticus, was just the original fundamental Republican (emphasis on mental) who had not made it out of the closet (kinda like Ted Haggard)? Lets face it was not in the Ten Commandments or even addressed by Jesus the son of God, so are we surprised with this ruling, its about time.

  20. Brian in Texas says

    @Chris, you silly fool

    It also says in Leviticus that its an abomination to mix fabrics and eat shellfish. How are those cotton/wool blended sweaters I’m sure you wear in the winter? Or the shrimp and lobster you may eat?

  21. James says

    I have absolutely nothing against gay people, and I am completely ok with people being gay. But I don’t think it is ok for gay people to get married. God created marriage as a sacred covenant between man and woman. Now yes I know I’ll probably get slammed and bashed for commenting this on here, and I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings, or made you upset. Just sharing my feelings.

  22. says

    Step one complete. Next stop 9th District court. And then FINALLY the Supreme Court where we will be heard once and for all. This is a good day not only for all gay Americans but any American who has been on the front lines fighting for equal rights for all.

    I was driving when I heard the news and I swear I almost wrecked from all the bouncing up and down, screaming and yelling in unparallelled joy, and fighting back the tears of victory. I am so proud to be an American today.

  23. Chris says

    Finally!

    This needs to be dealt with at the FEDERAL level in the US. Take this out of the individual states’ hands and force the issue nationally once and for all.

    We’ve had the right to marry here in Canada for the past 5 years. Still waiting for the fire and brimstone…

  24. IonMusic says

    I ask ALL LGBT folks..gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, bi curious, and closeted to get active…get vocal…get support. Please don’t just wishful think and hope for change and progress to happen, create it in your own surroundings by having conversations with those around you. By creating allies. By showing this is a subject you are passionate about because you could potentially find more love than your hetro next door neighbor but would never see the same rights as them before, however, with this POSITIVE ruling, you too can experience that same sense of joy, happiness and fulfilment we all deserve in life. It is our relationships that would be getting married, so how/why could they decide on the fate of our relationships when we don’t vote on theirs? take a second to let that register then go support your rights for freedom, equality, happiness and love.

  25. TheNiebur says

    First off; Marriage was not created by God, nor did it come from any religion, but was merely hijacked by religious freaks, not unlike a couple of the people commenting. Go educate yourself a little, James.

    Now, as a European not having to fight for my rights constantly (It’s NOT about “special rights”, it’s about EQUALITY!), I am so very happy on behalf of my American brothers & sisters! Good for you :)

    Still a long way to go though, so keep RAGING HARD!

    Best wishes to you all xXx

  26. Anastasia says

    I encourage EVERYONE to read the ruling. Yes, it’s long. But I’m not even an attorney and I was easily able to understand all of it. In fact, it was quite fascinating and will most likely be considered a landmark case, so read it.

    I especially direct my comments to those who are moaning and whinging about this ruling. If you read what the judge wrote and really understand his words, you will understand EXACTLY why you are wrong. The state has NO justifiable or rational reason to CONTINUE excluding same-sex couples from the legal and civil relationship we call marriage. None. He thoroughly went through every single argument the proponents presented and, well, basically their arguments were shit. We don’t base laws only on your moral code or his moral code or her moral code. They’d be a mashed up mess and the state must look to their own interests, as well (which are ALL of our interests). We also don’t base laws solely on majority view. The bill of rights was created specifically to protect the few from being overrun by the many and the majority can and often has been wrong.

    I guarantee you when the Supreme Court ruled in 1967 that interracial marriages were legal, most Americans disagreed. However, today you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone upset about the fact that interracial couples can marry and even find it bizarre that it was EVER illegal!

    That is how Americans will look on this in 50 years or fewer. Bizarre that gays and lesbians ever had to go through all this!

    Anyway, read the ruling. It’s very eye-opening. The law and the state do not operate on emotion, but reason. And there is simply NO reason to exclude gays and lesbians from marriage.

  27. says

    If conservatives really are convinced that marriage is a central institution for human civilization (and if they’re right, we’re in trouble – just look at the state of so many hetero marriages!), shouldn’t they be happy to let more couples marry?

    I find Judge Walker’s reasoning compelling: he didn’t find a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, he just recognized (as other federal courts have) that there is a fundamental right to MARRIAGE, without qualification. Denying that right to a significant number of couples, simply because of the sex of the partners, is absolutely insane.

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