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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Prop 8 overturned, temporary stay issued

photos courtesy Jessica Cortez

As you must've heard all over the news, blogs, facebook and twitter, Federal Judge Vaughn Walker overturned Proposition 8 with his ruling on Wednesday, August 4, 2010:
"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."
Because Proposition 8 is unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, the court orders entry of judgment permanently enjoining its enforcement; prohibiting the official defendants from applying or enforcing Proposition 8 and directing the official defendants that all persons under their control or supervision shall not apply or enforce Proposition 8...
Visit here for the full text of Judge Walker's ruling.

For now, same-sex marriages are still on hold. Judge Walker issued what's called a temporary stay (for two days) to pause the resuming of same-sex marriages while a short trial can be held to see if they should be on hold until the appeal is heard:

On Wednesday, at least, the purely practical impact of the decision was limited, and gay and lesbian couples such as Perry and Stier were unable to rush to the altar. Walker attached a stay order to his ruling, freezing it for at least a few days until a separate hearing can be held on whether to allow same-sex marriages while the case is appealed.

The decision did not affect 18,000 gay and lesbian couples who wed before voters passed Prop. 8. Those unions are still legal.

But the broader legal and political repercussions are weighty, as the trial was the first ever held in federal court on the issue. Legal experts said that if Walker's ruling is affirmed on appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court would almost certainly take up the case and establish law for the rest of the country.

If the appeals court reverses Walker's decision and restores the ban, the experts said, the Supreme Court may leave the case alone.

The appeal to the Ninth Circuit could be decided within months - or the process could take more than a year. [SFGate]

Hundreds of celebrations and 40+ community rallies took place across the state, including a rally at Veteran's Park in downtown Napa.

What was your reaction to the ruling? Thoughts on what's next?