Equality Wins in California: US District Judge Overturns Proposition 8

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In another historic landmark day in the ongoing battle for equal rights in California (and America), US District Judge Vaughn Walker struck down Proposition 8, the statewide ban against same-sex marriage.

The judge based his decision in part on the fact that opponents to same-sex marriage simply had no compelling argument against it.

Key findings included:

* “The Proposition 8 campaign relied on fears that children exposed to the concept of same-sex marriage may become gay or lesbian.

The ads insinuated that learning about same-sex marriage could make a child gay or lesbian and that parents should dread having a gay or lesbian child.”

* “In the absence of a rational basis, what remains of proponents’ case is an inference, amply supported by evidence in the record, that Proposition 8 was premised on the belief that same-sex couples simply are not as good as opposite-sex couples.

Whether that belief is based on moral disapproval of homosexuality, animus towards gays and lesbians or simply a belief that a relationship between a man and a woman is inherently better than a relationship between two men or two women, this belief is not a proper basis on which to legislate.”

* “Proposition 8 places the force of law behind stigmas against gays and lesbians, including: gays and lesbians do not have intimate relationships similar to heterosexual couples; gays and lesbians are not as good as heterosexuals; and gay and lesbian relationships do not deserve the full recognition of society.”

Said Mickey Lim, a San Francisco resident, US Air Force veteran and the vice president of Out4Immigration, a group that advocates for equal immigration rights for same-sex couples denied equal protections due, in part, to marriage inequality at the federal level, “[the ruling] shows that basic individual rights cannot be trampled on by a mob, whether the mob is carrying pitchforks or at the voting booth.”

The Bay Citizen reported that “some 300 supporters of same-sex marriage marched down Market Street to City Hall in celebration early Wednesday evening.” It appears that the Bay Citizen has lost a “zero” in that estimate. KazzaDrask Media was on the scene and reports at least 3,000 supporters left the Castro area at 6 pm en route to the Civic Center.

Source: Bay Citizen; photo by KazzaDrask Media (taken with an iPhone).

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