Prop 8, the 2008 ballot measure that declared, “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California,” is dead!
In an historic ruling, Judge Vaughn Walker in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal trial that has determined the unconstitutionality of Prop 8, announced moments ago that the law did, indeed violate the rights of California’s gay and lesbian citizens and that marriage as an institution should be available equally for same-sex couples as it is for opposite-sex couples.
The ruling states,
“Because Proposition 8 is unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, the court orders entry of judgment permanently enjoining its enforcement; prohibiting the official defendants from applying or enforcing Proposition 8 and directing the official defendants that all persons under their control or supervision shall not apply or enforce Proposition 8.”
While this advance in civil rights comes as welcome news, it does not come without questions. Before the trial ended, both sides announced they would contest the decision and appeal to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Walker had indicated he might issue a “temporary stay,” which, in effect, would stop his ruling from going into effect until the appeals court makes its ruling. The language above does not indicate that he has placed a stay on his ruling.
It appeared even before today’s announcement that Walker had found grounds to declare Prop 8 unconstitutional, as “Protect Marriage,” the defendants, before the ruling was announced, had “already filed a motion to stay the ruling pending appeal.”
What’s next? Stay tuned!
(photo: A protest in Washington, D.C. against the passage of Proposition 8, November 15, 2008.)
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