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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Prop 8 Ruled Unconstitutional...But the Fight is Not Over

I am sure most of you have heard the good news...

Today, Wednesday August 4th, 2010, a California Federal Judge overturned Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage, stating it was unconstitutional.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker stated that the proposition was unconstitutional under both the due-process and equal-protection clauses.

"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." "...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."

The judge concluded that "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."

So what's next?
Despite the favorable ruling for gay and lesbian couples, Judge Walker has yet to decide as to whether his order to allow gay marriage should be suspended while proponents of the ban pursue their appeal. He ordered both sides to submit written arguments by Friday .

Once the appeal is ready, it will go first to the 9th Circuit, and then on to the U.S. Supreme Court, if the high court justices agree to review it.

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