Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Constitutional Right to Gay Marriage?

New York Times
Room for Debate
August 4, 2010

In rejecting California's Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that outlawed same-sex marriage, Federal District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker squarely addressed the issue of gay marriage under the federal constitution and ruled that the state ban violated the plaintiffs' rights to due process and equal protection.

Judge Walker wrote in his decision: "The tradition of restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples does not further any state interest. Rather, the evidence shows that Proposition 8 harms the state’s interest in equality, because it mandates that men and women be treated differently based only on antiquated and discredited notions of gender."

Will this ruling change legal strategies in the battle over gay marriage? Is the political landscape changing on the issue? Might the Supreme Court, if it takes up the case, reflect that shift?