Friday, August 6, 2010

Judge strikes California's ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8

Washington Post
August 5, 2010

A federal judge in California ruled Wednesday that the state's ban on same-sex marriage violates the constitutional right to equal protection. The decision is the first step in a legal struggle that is widely expected to end at the Supreme Court.

In the nation's first federal trial on same-sex marriage, Judge Vaughn R. Walker said that California's 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," wrote Walker, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco. In 2008, 52 percent of the state's voters approved Proposition 8, an amendment to the state Constitution.