In a ruling my husband said he could have made, Judge Vaughn Walker held this afternoon that the Califorina voter approved proposition is unconstitutional. The Prop 8 Suporters are expected to appeal and to argue that Judge Walker is gay and therefore biased.. I call this grasping at straws.
The Washington Post quoted Governor Schwarzenegger who as Govenor was the noninal defendant.
In a statement, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) said, “For the hundreds of thousands of Californians in gay and lesbian households who are managing their day-to-day lives, this decision affirms the full legal protections and safeguards I believe everyone deserves.”
You may recall that the case was aruged by what has been described as the legal “odd couple”. The New York Times put it this way
…the plaintiffs’ case was argued by David Boies and Theodore Olson, ideological opposites who once famously sparred in the 2000 Supreme Court battle beween George W. Bush and Al Gore over the Florida recount and the presidency. The lawyers brought the case — Perry v. Schwarzenegger — in May 2009 on behalf of two gay couples who said that Proposition 8 impinged on their Constitutional rights to equal protection and due process.
The San Franciso Chronicle reported
Within minutes of the ruling, Maria Ydil, 31, and Vanessa Judicta, 32, headed to City Hall to apply for a marriage license. It was not immediately clear if they would get a license or be allowed immediately to marry.
A crowd trailed behind singing, “The Chapel of Love.”
While they were allowed to fill out paperwork, they were denied a license because the judge issued a stay on enforcement of the ruling pending further hearings on the issue, a city official said.
From the Times
“Being gay is about forming an adult family relationship with a person of a same sex, so denying us equality within the family system is to deny respect for the essence of who we are as gay people,” said Jennifer Pizer, the marriage project director for Lambda Legal in Los Angeles, who filed two briefs in favor of the plaintiffs. “And we believe that equality in marriage would help reduce discrimination in other settings because the government invites disrespect of us when it denies us equality.”
Between this decision making its way though the appeals process and the Massachusetts decision on the Defense of Marriage Act, the Supreme Court is going to have a pivitol role in the next step toward equal rights. I will be posting more on this in coming days, as I digest the ruling, but I think that the Loving v. Virginia decision is finally going to be extended to same sex marriage as well.