Federal Judge rules California gay marriage ban as unconstitutional
San Francisco, CA â€“ On Wednesday a federal judge ruled that Californiaâ€™s law banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
Proposition 8 outlawed same-sex marriages and was passed in a voter election in November of 2008 as a response to a California Supreme Court ruling which legalized gay marriage in the state. The proposition passed with 52% of the vote, and had many out-of-state conservative groups backing it.
The decision Wednesday was made by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who was hearing a case brought by two same-sex couples who argued that the law violated their civil rights.
In his decision, Judge Walker wrote, â€œProposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license.â€ He also stated that Proposition 8 â€œdemonstrated by overwhelming evidenceâ€ a violation of, as Reuters noted, â€œdue process and equal-protection rightsâ€ of the U.S. Constitution.
Source: The Examiner — Geoff Kors, who is the executive director for Equality California remarked of the decision, â€œWe are thrilled with today’s ruling, which affirms that the protections enshrined in our U.S. Constitution apply to all Americans and that our dream of equality and freedom deserves protection.â€
Proposition 8 sponsors have stated that they will appeal the decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the case may make it all of the way to the United States Supreme Court. In addition, NBC News reported that lawyers for the groups advocating Proposition 8 asked the Judge Walker to stay his decision pending an appeal, and citing that, â€œSame-sex marriages would be licensed under a cloud of uncertainty, and should proponents succeed on appeal, any such marriages would be invalid.â€
Ignoring the civil rights arguments of the case, Republican Senator James DeMint of South Carolina who opposes same-sex marriage remarked, according to NBC News, that the decision was â€œanother attempt to impose a secular immorality on the American people who keep voting to preserve traditional marriage.â€ Furthermore, he added, â€œTraditional marriage has been the foundation of civil society for centuries and we cannot simply toss it aside to fit the political whims of liberal activists with gavels.â€