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Judge strikes down Prop. 8 PostWed Aug 04, 2010 3:27 pm OfflineBoard Moderator
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Tue Apr 08, 2003 1:57 am17369Hollywood, CA
I'm going to lock all other threads on this topic, so listen up!

Judge strikes down Prop. 8, allows gay marriage in California

In a long-awaited ruling, Judge Vaughn Walker says the ban on same-sex marriage violates constitutional rights to equal protection and due process. The decision is expected to reach the Supreme Court.

The federal judge who overturned Proposition 8 Wednesday said the ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage was based on moral disapproval of gay marriage and ordered the state to stop enforcing the ban.

U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker, in a 136-page ruling, said California "has no interest in differentiating between same-sex and opposite-sex unions."

"The evidence shows conclusively that moral and religious views form the only basis for a belief that same-sex couples are different from opposite-sex couples," Walker wrote. The ruling struck down Proposition 8 as a violation of federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process.

Walker cited extensive trial evidence to support his finding that there was not even a rational basis for excluding gays and lesbians from marriage. Higher courts defer to trial judges on issues of fact, but still could determine that Walker was wrong on the law.

Vaughn has temporarily stayed his order until Friday, giving Prop. 8 backers time to file appeals and seek a long-term stay. The decision would appear to delay any resumption of gay marriage in the state. Officials in L.A. County and West Hollywood said they were studying the ruling before deciding whether to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses again.

Supporters of the marriage ban vowed an immediate appeal.

Austin R. Nimocks, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund who fought to uphold Proposition 8 in Walker's court, said they would appeal. "We're obviously disappointed that the judge did not uphold the will of over 7 million Californians who made a decision in a free and fair democratic process."

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger praised the ruling.

"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," the governor said. "At the same time, it provides an opportunity for all Californians to consider our history of leading the way to the future, and our growing reputation of treating all people and their relationships with equal respect and dignity."

He said the ruling was "by no means California's first milestone, nor our last, on America's road to equality and freedom for all people."

Proponents of Proposition 8 had asked Walker to block enforcement of his ruling immediately, but Walker declined. The proponents of the ballot measure said they would immediately appeal.

Walker could still put the ruling on hold pending appeal after hearing more arguments, but his ruling today directed city and state officials to stop enforcing the marriage ban.

Walker's historic ruling in Perry vs. Schwarzenegger relied heavily on the testimony he heard at trial. His ruling listed both factual findings and his conclusions about the law.

Supporters of Proposition 8 argued during the trial that same-sex marriage would undermine the institution of marriage and that children fare best with both a mother and a father.

The challengers presented witnesses who cited studies that showed children reared from birth by gay and lesbian couples do as well as children born into opposite-sex families. They also testified that the clamor for marriage in the gay community had given the institution of marriage greater esteem.

The trial appeared to be a lopsided show for the challengers, who called 16 witnesses, including researchers from the nation's top universities, and presented tearful testimony from gays and lesbians about why marriage mattered to them.

The backers of Proposition 8 called only two witnesses, and both made concessions under cross-examination that helped the other side.

The sponsors complained that Walker's pretrial rulings had been unfair and that some of their prospective witnesses decided not to testify out of fear for their safety.

When Walker ruled that he would broadcast portions of the trial on the Internet, Proposition 8 proponents fought him all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and won a 5-4 ruling barring cameras in the courtroom.

The trial nevertheless was widely covered, with some groups doing minute-by-minute blogging. Law professors brought their students to watch the top-notch legal theater.

Wednesday's ruling stemmed from a lawsuit filed last year by two homosexual couples who argued that the marriage ban violates their federal constitutional rights to equal protection and due process.

Filed in anticipation of a California Supreme Court ruling upholding Proposition 8, the suit was the brainchild of a gay political strategist in Los Angeles who formed a nonprofit to finance the litigation.

The group hired two legal luminaries from opposite sides of the political spectrum to try to overturn the ballot measure. Former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson, a conservative icon, signed on with litigator David Boies, a liberal who squared off against Olson in Bush vs. Gore, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that gave George W. Bush the presidency in 2000.

Gay-rights groups had opposed the lawsuit, fearful that the U.S. Supreme Court might rule against marriage rights and create a precedent that could take decades to overturn.

But after the suit was filed, gay rights lawyers flocked to support it, filing friend-of-court arguments on why Proposition 8 should be overturned.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown refused to defend the marriage ban, leaving the sponsors of the initiative to fill the vacuum. They hired a team of lawyers experienced in U.S. Supreme Court litigation.

Voters approved Proposition 8 by 52.3% six months after the California Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was permitted under the state Constitution.

The state high court later upheld Proposition 8 as a valid amendment to the state Constitution.

An estimated 18,000 same-sex couples married in California during the months it was legal, and the state continues to recognize those marriages.
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Re: Judge strikes down Prop. 8 PostWed Aug 04, 2010 7:25 pm Offline
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Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:20 pm5070
And added to the mix:

Today at the grocery store, there were people not with petitions but asking for funds in increments of $8.00 (for Prop. 8 ) to put a new ballot measure in a future election with clearer language than Prop. 8.

The reason: No matter how the appeals of today's ruling will be decided, up to and including the U.S. Supreme Court, the people I saw today outside the Grocery Store want a new ballot measure, independent of Prop. 8, to be the law of the State. So while appeals of the Prop. 8 decision go on, a new ballot measure is being devised - so this isn't over yet.

And this issue continues . . . . . . .
Re: Judge strikes down Prop. 8 PostWed Aug 04, 2010 7:37 pm Offline
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Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:10 pm11176N/A - I'm only part of your imagination.
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Re: Judge strikes down Prop. 8 PostWed Aug 04, 2010 8:50 pm Offline
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Fri Jul 02, 2004 10:51 pm4292San Jose, California
It's seriously about fucking time. I can't believe this is still an issue in this day and age.

My regards to Judge Walker. Thank you sir, for doing the right thing, and actually following the Constitution.
Re: Judge strikes down Prop. 8 PostWed Aug 04, 2010 9:04 pm Offline
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Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:20 pm5070
And while the appeals process starts, the Judge in the above case has stayed the application of this law temporarily to see if the appeals judge will make the stay permanent during the appeals process. What does this mean? Several gay couples went to San Francisco City Hall to get a marriage license, and were turned away.
Re: Judge strikes down Prop. 8 PostWed Aug 04, 2010 9:06 pm OfflineBoard Moderator
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Tue Apr 08, 2003 1:57 am17369Hollywood, CA
Since the case is expected to go to the Supreme Court, the judge ruled that no new gay marriage will be acknowledged until the justices decide. The justices may decide not to hear the case, in which case whatever the appeals court decides stands. I hear a new campaign against gay marriage has already begun, though.
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Re: Judge strikes down Prop. 8 PostThu Aug 05, 2010 2:45 am Offline
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Fri May 25, 2007 6:38 pm1419Texas by way of Ohio
Pardon the pun, but that's gay.

Why are there ANY ballots that are LIMITING people's liberties? The government is here to protect people from violence and from discrimination. Yet, people are being denied the rights and privileges that come with marriage. When the government discriminates against individuals, there is no way you can convince me it doesn't encourage violence against them by people who need little excuse to cause harm to homosexuals in the first place.
Re: Judge strikes down Prop. 8 PostThu Aug 05, 2010 2:36 pm Offline
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Sun Jan 30, 2005 10:24 pm5686The Mormon Homeland
I am not looking forward to Prop 8 coming before the Roberts Supreme Court. We have the most activist right wing Supreme Court in living memory right now. They've been turning over decades of precedent and always in the favor of corporate interests.

Walker's judgment was right on the money; you can't let a slim majority legislate the discrimination of a minority. That's bullcrap.
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Re: Judge strikes down Prop. 8 PostThu Aug 05, 2010 8:25 pm Offline
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Wed Apr 16, 2003 9:32 pm9640Sedro Woolley
This is awesome news..I can't wait til something similar happens here in Washington, and gays and lesbians in my state can legally get married..And I can't wait to tell the fundies who would be opposed, and asking for donations at the grocery stores, to go f*ck themselves. f*ck, no I wouldn't give them 8 dollars, that 8 dollars buys me girl on girl porn..LOL.. The way I see it there is nothing to debate. There is suppost to be a seperation of church and state. It is mainly the Christian religion ( and other Monotheistic religions) that are opposed to gay marriage. Not everyone is Christian in this country, or belongs to a religion that opposes same sex marriage. It is unfair to make laws to appease a religion when there is suppost to be a seperation of church and state. And to be less PC, all the fundies who want to impose their laws on me and my heathen friends can kiss my ass..They obviously don't care about respecting my beliefs or what I want, I don't really feel like extending them the courteousy.
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Re: Judge strikes down Prop. 8 PostThu Aug 05, 2010 9:38 pm Offline
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Mon Aug 23, 2004 6:33 pm800
I can't believe this even needs to be taken to the supreme court.
Re: Judge strikes down Prop. 8 PostThu Aug 05, 2010 9:45 pm OfflineBoard Moderator
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Tue Apr 08, 2003 1:57 am17369Hollywood, CA
Appeals are funny that way.
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Re: Judge strikes down Prop. 8 PostFri Aug 06, 2010 4:30 pm Offline
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Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:20 pm5070
This all boils down to fundamental rights. Is marriage a fundamental right? The Supreme Court has said "yes" so now I see these appeals losing.

In Brown vs. The Board of Education in the 1950's, the will of the people, segregation, was the law in most States. But with the stroke of a pen, the U.S. Supreme Court abolished segregation in the public schools.

Here, the Federal District Court ruled marriage is a fundamental right, and that gay marriage is allowed as a constitutional fundamental right, so Prop. 8 is unconstitutional.

it is a no-brainer that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will concur with the District Court's Decision.

The U.S. Supreme Court? Well, they could say that marriage is NOT a fundamental constitutional right, and then Prop. 8 might be the law of California, and the other 45 States (the "will of the people") with laws against Gay marriage will also stand. But I predict this will not happen. The U.S. Supreme Court, in my opinion, will say that marriage is a constitutionally protected fundamental right, so the appeal will fail, and as in Brown, with the stroke of a pen, marriage will be a fundamental right between two people; gay or straight.

As for more than two people, like polygamy, that question is not before the court. Only whether marriage is a constitutionally protected fundamental right. . . . . .
Last edited by zzyzx 1 on Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Re: Judge strikes down Prop. 8 PostFri Aug 06, 2010 4:31 pm Offline
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Sat Jan 02, 2010 7:26 pm2500the dangleberry of planet Earth
This news makes me a fucking ecstatic panda
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Re: Judge strikes down Prop. 8 PostFri Aug 06, 2010 7:32 pm Offline
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Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:36 am1436in a secret underground bunker
Don't worry everyone, I'll start a march on Washington against gay marriage...and everyone will be happy again. :roll: :P

No? Well it was worth a shot...especially if I get my internship at C-Span :wink: :o

I have no comment....per usual. I'm trying to keep the peace, but alas, I know I'm gonna fail :|
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Re: Judge strikes down Prop. 8 PostFri Aug 06, 2010 10:42 pm Offline
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Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:20 pm5070
mo303564 wrote:
Don't worry everyone, I'll start a march on Washington against gay marriage...and everyone will be happy again. :roll: :P

No? Well it was worth a shot...especially if I get my internship at C-Span :wink: :o

I have no comment....per usual. I'm trying to keep the peace, but alas, I know I'm gonna fail :|


See? It's not the opinion of most people that is the law of the land. If it was, segregation would still be the law of the land. That's why I contrasted Prop. 8 with Brown above.

The federal courts, if they declare that something is a fundamental right, it is a fundamental right. The district court said marriage is a fundamental right so Prop. 8 is unconstitutional. I explained above my opinion of how the appeals will be handled.

Fundamental Constitutional rights . . . . . .
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