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.


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...


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  1. Woot!

    Posted by: Tonic | Aug 4, 2010 5:03:53 PM

  2. @DAFT -- we have friends in the process --;)

    Posted by: David B. 2 | Aug 4, 2010 5:05:49 PM

  3. Justice is a beautiful thing.

    Posted by: Rafael | Aug 4, 2010 5:06:35 PM

  4. Excellent! Justice. Times are changing, I hope.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Aug 4, 2010 5:11:06 PM

  5. Yeah, just the first step, more fights to come, etc.

    But for today: How about a big smile!

    Posted by: TJ | Aug 4, 2010 5:13:47 PM


    Posted by: Rick | Aug 4, 2010 5:13:59 PM

  7. YES!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: CKNJ | Aug 4, 2010 5:14:18 PM

  8. Thank You, Judge Walker! You made my day, month, year!

    Posted by: Fred | Aug 4, 2010 5:15:13 PM

  9. 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.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Aug 4, 2010 5:15:34 PM

  10. 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.


    Posted by: Ernie | Aug 4, 2010 5:15:34 PM

  11. 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?

    Posted by: yeahisaidit | Aug 4, 2010 5:15:53 PM

  12. US Consitution 1
    Mormon Church 0

    Posted by: Rob | Aug 4, 2010 5:16:03 PM

  13. 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.

    Posted by: Stephen Stillwell | Aug 4, 2010 5:23:20 PM

  14. My first year anniversary of being wed to my husband was when Prop 8 passed and today is my birthday, what a present to get Prop 8 overturned.

    Posted by: Matthew | Aug 4, 2010 5:23:37 PM

  15. 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).

    Posted by: LetSodomRing | Aug 4, 2010 5:30:01 PM

  16. this is really good news!

    i just checked out the free republic site. hoo boy those people's heads are exploding right now.

    he he he!

    Posted by: alguien | Aug 4, 2010 5:31:24 PM

  17. yay!!!! A win for equality

    Posted by: KFLO | Aug 4, 2010 5:31:47 PM

  18. great news today :)

    Posted by: neverstops | Aug 4, 2010 5:42:21 PM

  19. 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:



    Posted by: FunMe | Aug 4, 2010 5:49:10 PM

  20. hey funme, I'm in downtown Austin, (SOCO), myself and i'm sure I can feel your energy and it feels good...!

    Posted by: yeahisaidit | Aug 4, 2010 6:15:19 PM

  21. http://objection.mrdictionary.net/go.php?n=4175017

    Posted by: Phoenix | Aug 4, 2010 6:35:51 PM

  22. Boy, did he rip Blankenhorn a new one, my goodness.

    So thorough, too. I can't imagine on what basis an appeal will be filed.

    Posted by: Tom | Aug 4, 2010 7:09:57 PM

  23. 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.

    Posted by: Joe | Aug 4, 2010 7:17:21 PM

  24. 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.

    Posted by: LetSodomRing | Aug 4, 2010 7:18:50 PM

  25. 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.

    Posted by: daMamma | Aug 4, 2010 7:28:14 PM

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