Posted by Brad @ 6:47 pm on August 4th 2010

Proposition 8 Struck Down

The case brilliantly argued by Ted Olsen prevails. A federal judge has declared that California’s ban on same sex marriage violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the United States constitution*, and that the government could not prove there was any overriding interest or rational basis in excluding gay couples from the institution of marriage.

“Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians. The evidence shows conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples,” Walker wrote.

The judge added in the conclusion of the 136-page opinion: “Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license.”

We can debate the politics and tactical considerations of this to our heart’s content, but the bottom line, it seems to me, is that he’s right. And at the end of the day, that’s hard to argue with. So as DOMA now faces its own challenges, and Kagan appears set for the bench, the question of whether or not any state’s voters, no matter the margins or popularity, can deny constitutional rights to a minority group without being able to prove an overriding state interest will likely go on to the United States Supreme Court.

Hear that, Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability.

For reax, I point you simply to Andrew Sullivan’s blog this evening. Say what you will of him, but there is nobody who has done more to advance this cause and articulate its irrefutable logic than he.

1 Comment »

  1. *Importantly, this decision was based on the United States i.e. federal constitution. Ergo, if it does pass muster with SCOTUS, expect a bevy of challenges to all the state constitutional amendments that passed in the last decade when gay marriage bans couldn’t pass state constitutional muster either. I suspect that gives SCOTUS pause, but at the end of the day, unless we pass a federal marriage amendment, state constitutional amendments won’t work. The house of cards for gay marriage opponents is flimsy, and shaking violently.

    And for those on the fence about rulings on the constitutionality of gay marriage bans, I really urge you to read the opinion here. The judge bends over backwards to rule on facts and evidence vs. opinions. The bottom line, I believe, is there is simply no way to square the federal constitution as presently written with gay marriage bans. The judge finds the same, and gives ample, ample illustration.

    Comment by Brad — 8/4/2010 @ 7:09 pm

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