Note after posting: A pending appeal by proponents of Prop 8 will go to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Judge Walker might wait until that appeal has been decided before making his ruling final, which would then force the state of California to allow same-sex marriages again. So no wedding bells for gays and lesbians quite yet in California. (Read about it here.)
Today, U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker ruled in Perry v. Schwarzenegger and struck down Proposition 8, the voter-approved California ballot measure that prohibits same-sex marriage.
Actually, how Judge Vaughn, a Republican appointee, handled the case was a surprise, which you can read about in the LA Times.
The full 136-page ruling can be read on Scribd.com. It’s actually pretty interesting stuff. The good judge’s conclusion? Icing on the cake:
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. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.
Happy reading, and congratulations California!