U.S. District Judge Vaugh Walker ruled that Proposition 8, the anti-gay marriage ballot initiative voted on by Californians in 2008 is in fact “unconstitutional under both the due process and equal protection clauses,” according to recent news reports.
Via New York, Judge Walker stated:
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.
Gay Rights activists are overjoyed at the ruling, with the Courage Campaign releasing the following via press release:
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“This ruling is an historic milestone for millions of loving families, for all who have fought to realize the dream of equality under the law, and for our nation as a whole,” said Courage Campaign Founder and Chairman Rick Jacobs. “While today concludes the first step in a legal process that could take up to two years, Judge Walker’s ruling is a landmark victory in America’s centuries long war against discrimination, and the result of months of extraordinary work by the American Foundation for Equal Rights, Attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson, and courageous plaintiffs Kris Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo.”
The Human Rights Campaign calls the decision a “historic decision for equal marriage:”
In a historic decision for equal marriage, today a federal court ruled Proposition 8 — California’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples — to be unconsitutional.
HRC President Joe Solmonese released the following statement:
“After hearing extensive evidence in support of marriage equality, and essentially no defense of the discrimination wrought by Prop 8, Judge Walker reached the same conclusion we have always known to be true – the Constitution’s protections are for all Americans, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. We thank the courageous plaintiff couples, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, and attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies for their tremendous efforts leading to today’s decision and their ongoing commitment as the case moves forward on appeal. The battle for marriage equality continues, and we must all continue our work – in courthouses and statehouses, in church pews and living rooms – until equality is reality for LGBT people and our families everywhere.”
Supporters of Prop 8 are expected to file an appeal, escalating the case to the Supreme Court, according to the NOH8 Campaign website.
The full 130+ page ruling can be read here: