Wednesday, August 4, 2010
As I’m sure everyone on the planet, or at least our readership, knows, yesterday Federal Judge Vaughn Walker overturned the highly controversial Proposition 8 in California, saying that the measure limiting marriage to heterosexual couples was unconstitutional. It's time for a new Miss California to go with a new era, Ms. Prejean...
Walker, originally a Reagan nominee and later an H.W. Bush appointee (thanks for the info, Tim Ryan and Nick DeBoer!) proved to be a hero for gay rights activists, stating:
Walker also issued a ruling granting a stay of his order until Friday, allowing the opposition to file for an appeal. So-called protectors of the sanctity of marriage have already asserted that they will appeal all the way to the Supreme Court to fight the ruling. Aside for allowing those against same-sex marriage to file their appeal, the temporary stay blocked the immediate resumption of same-sex marriages in California.
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... Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligations to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.
California Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger approved of Walker’s ruling, calling it "a milestone in America's road to equality and freedom for all people."
While definitely a monumental step in the right direction, unfortunately gay rights activists will still have a long way to go in the battle to secure same-sex marriage in the state of California. Seeing as the opposition intends to appeal as far as the Supreme Court, the end is many years, and many appeals, in the future.
Walker summed up his decision by calling attention to the heart of the bigotry and ignorance behind the opposition: "Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians. The evidence shows conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite sex couples."
Congratulations to California for reaching such a historic milestone, and props to Judge Walker. Go ahead and celebrate tonight, California - you deserve it. Now it’s time to gear up for midterms and elect some wonderful Democrats who support and will protect gay rights!