This afternoon U.S District Judge Vaugh Walker ruled in the case brought before him by lawyers Ted Olson and David Boies, which argued that the Proposition 8 ballot initiative denying marriage rights to same sex couples in California was unconstitutional. In a decision just handed down to lawyers for both sides, Walker ruled in that Proposition 8 is “unconstitutional under both the due process and equal protection clauses.” The court, therefore, “orders entry of judgment permanently enjoining its enforcement.” We’re staying tuned for more updates and details on the 136-page decision, but these two sentences from the conclusion are critical:
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.
I will add updates with more info and analysis as I process what’s coming in, but yay!
Update: This decision will be appealed, so this is not the end for this issue.
The Judge issued a “stay” which means the ruling doesn’t go into effect immediately (which would have allowed same-sex couples to start getting married right away. It’s still unclear how long this stay will last.
If you want to send a thanks to the couples involved in the court case, you can do that here through HRC.
Update II: Stay issued until Friday, when the Judge will decide whether to continue to hold the effect of the decision until the appeals are heard, or go ahead with it. (via TPM)