Thursday, August 5, 2010

Judge Walker Overturns Proposition 8, Upholds Equality Of Gay Couples

Proposition 8, which outlawed same sex marriage in California, should never have been a ballot measure in the first place. Equal protection under the law is guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. It is not subject to a vote. The Supreme Court overturned laws that prevented interracial marriage (Loving v. Virginia, 1967); voters rightly played no part in that decision. Similarly, gay marriage is a legal issue involving the denied rights of a minority. Such rights should not be subject to the whims of voters; instead, they should be legally upheld.

Judge Vaughn R. Walker (above), who overturned Proposition 8, recognized that voters cannot ban gay men and women from marrying (excerpts from his U.S. District Court Decision: Perry v. Schwarzennegger):

Page 24: "Conjecture, speculation and fears are not enough. Still less will the moral disapprobation of a group or class of citizens suffice, no matter how large the majority that shares that view. The evidence demonstrated beyond serious reckoning that Proposition 8 finds support only in such disapproval. As such, Proposition 8 is beyond the constitutional reach of the voters or their representatives."

Proposition 8 discriminated against gay couples on a prejudicial belief in their inferiority:

Page 135: "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."

Proposition 8 violated the principle of equal protection under the law:

Page 136: "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 ...

"Because Proposition 8 is unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, the court orders entry of judgment permanently ... prohibiting the official defendants [state of California] from applying or enforcing Proposition 8..."

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