Great news for real conservatives who believe in the U.S. Constitution and its guarantee of equal protection under the law!
A U.S. District Court Judge, first nominated by Ronald Reagan and then appointed under George H.W. Bush, has struck down CA's Prop 8 which added an amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage equality. The state's majority Republican-appointed Supreme Court had previously found no basis for banning same-sex marriage in the CA constitution. That finding was, in effect, overturned at the ballot box in November 2008 by Prop 8 which ended same-sex marriage in the state and left thousands of marriages in limbo until today's finding.
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.
That's what history sounds like. Of course, before the ruling was released, lawyers for the opposing side filed a motion to stay his ruling pending an appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
TPMMuckraker's Rachel Slajda reports that "Supporters of Prop 8 (that is, opponents of gay marriage) have already promised to file an appeal," and she now offers more quotes from Judge Vaughn Walker's landmark decision.
And just a reminder to those of you foes of equality and the Constitution: Remember, where same-sex marriage is found to be legal and Constitutional, it will still be voluntary. You will not be forced to marry someone of the same sex. Just in case that's been unclear up until now.
UPDATE: CNN reports that, in a separate ruling [PDF], Walker grants a stay to his finding, pending appeal by the opponents of equality. If appealed, as is almost certain, the case will go to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and then likely to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Marcy Wheeler of emptywheel tweets a very interesting point, worth remembering, in relation to the likely inevitable hearing before the U.S. Supremes...