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US Judge Rules Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

US Judge Rules Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker has ruled that California's voter-approved gay marriage ban violates the US constitution. In his 136-page decision, the judge ruled that Proposition 8 violates both the due-process and equal-protection clauses of the constitution. He wrote:

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.

Almost two years ago, 52 percent of voters chose to change the state's constitution to explicitly limit marriage to opposite-sex couples. Now the state's gay couples will have a chance to marry, like the 18,000 same-sex couples who tied the knot while it was briefly legal in California. If the ruling gets held up on appeal, it will likely invalidate gay marriage bans across the country.

Update: Couples tried to get marriage licenses at San Francisco's city hall until a stay was granted.

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
ForeverEva ForeverEva 6 years
Marriage is a legal contract, everyone has the right to have this legal right, if you don't agree with it then stick to your religious cermonies and call marriage something else!!!
reesiecup reesiecup 6 years
Took long enough to recognize that banning things for a group of people is unconstitutional
stephley stephley 6 years
:notworthy: fuzzles.
fuzzles fuzzles 6 years
*patting marco's little head* Because people grow. And learn about spell check.
stephley stephley 6 years
I'd agree that in recent decades, it has felt as if the Supreme Court is an extension of the GOP but I think if you take a longer view, the Court, and the judiciary overall, has generally served the American and the Constitution well.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
They're not *supposed* to be representatives of a political party, but if you look at the supreme court that's not really the way it works, unfortunately.
stephley stephley 6 years
Judges generally are not representatives of a political party. More than one president has been ticked off by the independence of a judge he appointed.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
I think it was the right thing done in the wrong way, that's all. I much, much prefer voting on ballot initiatives rather than voting for representatives (in which case you're really just voting for a party that's supposed to represent your values). So the fact that a ballot initiative can be overturned by a representative of a political party is unsettling to me.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 6 years
@ sofalove and spacekatgal I think Judge Walker's words explain it best. "'[M]oral disapproval, without any other asserted state interest,' has never been a rational basis for legislation," "Animus towards gays and lesbians or simply a belief that a relationship between a man and a woman is inherently better than a relationship between two men or two women, this belief is not a proper basis on which to legislate," I'm not even paying attention to all of the peripheral arguments on either side of this issue because it comes down to one thing and one thing only. Those words in our Constitution which basically tell us if we extend to group (A) this benefit/privilege than we are Constitutionally obligated to extend the same benefit/privilege to group (B), plain and simple. For those who say marriage isn't a right, you're right, however the right to equal treatment under the Constitution is guaranteed and that's where we're coming from. Why? because we are a nation that maybe not always by substance but certainly by word of law operates on a system of equality for all. Equality should not be a choice term. The only way to get around equal treatment on this issue is to remove the privilege to get married all together for anyone and we all know that's not going to happen. If you are of a background/religion that holds same sex marriage as immoral that's fine. I don't hate or dislike you for that. Just don't marry a same sex person and nurture your personal relationships around your beliefs but don't tell the general citizenry we're not entitled to equal treatment by our government that's just ludacris. Live and let live. You do you and I'll do me.
stephley stephley 6 years
The voters' decision isn't in line with the Constitution: it has nothing to do with whether I agree with the outcome of anything. Judges are being elected and appointed all the time, across the country by different political majorities and elected officials from different parties - they're not 'the powers that be'. The judge in this case was appointed by Ronald Reagan.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
okay, so if the voters' decision is not in line with the powers that be that decision should be revoked? Are you okay with this in all circumstances, or just when you disagree with the outcome of the vote?
stephley stephley 6 years
"Still, what the point of voting on issues if judges have the authority to just reverse whatever the democratic process dictates?" Checks & balances - there are parts of the country where people would love to vote all kinds of rules for how other people should behave. The democratic process can be manipulated by money, power, emotion - the judge in this case found that the majority voted to violate the Constitution.
sofalove sofalove 6 years
uh yes it is..why do you think we voted on this issue? and you dont KNOW me so you cant say im not a moral person.... you just need to deal with the fact people think differently about everything..and if that bothers you maybe you have the issues
sofalove sofalove 6 years
@MeiGaku ok say whatever your going to am I......... i have my views and you have your own.... people agree with me on my views and some dont just like every other just deal with my view... you dont have to like it..but just deal with am i dealing with yours.... stop being such a child about the situation...and stop trying to justify your opinion with the bible..let me have my opinion and im letting you have your but you dont need to say mine is do you REALLLY know?? you dont. This will forever be a on going issue
LeiraElle LeiraElle 6 years
Spacakatgal; those are the exact words I was looking for after I read Stephley's comment. Thanks! I'm so pleased that Judge Walker used the law in his decision rather than socio-political agendas. <3 Human rights!
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
"The majority SHOULD NEVER dictate over the minority" Actually, that's the foundation of democracy. I'm pro gay marriage, but I'm not really okay with a judge overturning a vote. That said, what happened in CA was really messed up, telling people they could get married and then revoking that right. I know people who were engaged during that time period and couldn't be legally married by the time their wedding date rolled around. So I guess this ruling rights the wrong that was done initially. Still, what the point of voting on issues if judges have the authority to just reverse whatever the democratic process dictates?
chloe-bella chloe-bella 6 years
It kind of makes me mad that people are making such a big deal about the judge being gay. Let's not forget that he was nominated to the bench by Ronald Reagan and actually is a fairly conservative judge. If this case would have been decided by a straight judge who had been nominated by a democrat, there would have been just as big of an uproar by the republicans.
totygoliguez totygoliguez 6 years
I'm excited.The majority SHOULD NEVER dictate over the minority. If whites were given a vote to see if African Americans should have the same rights or if AA and whites should marry, I will guarantee you that 52 percent of voters will have said NO. This is the same! People shouldn't vote over other people's rights. Period. If I'm gay, I should have the right to marry if I fucking want and to do whatever heterosexuals can!
French-Kiss French-Kiss 6 years
fuzzles you got it right haha ! That is a great news, i was already happy the 1rst time gay marriages were allowed in California.
MeiGaku MeiGaku 6 years
@ sofalove: see? this is exactly what Walter is saying about having no rational basis for your belief. btw, if you're basing this on the bible, the right should REALLY start a movement on banning divorce too, cause last i checked the bible said that was wrong. oh, and wearing cotton and leather--cause god said that was a punishable offence. and clams. that was in there too. oh, btw, while we're at banning the rights for AMERICAN CITIZENS to marry, we should also ban the marriage of blacks, asians, and anyone who isn't WASP, since you know, that's wrong too. i know equality is something we strive for in america, and not always successfully, but this is a step in the right direction for all those who have been treated as second class citizens.
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