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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Kill Proposition 8

It is looking good for (some) same-sex couples in California after yesterday’s Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hearing on Prop H8.

Attorney Theodore Olson, representing opponents of Proposition 8, argued that the measure is unconstitutional and denies "the fundamental right of...citizens to marry."

Fundamental rights can’t be denied.

Two same-sex couples filed a federal challenge, saying the law violated 14th Amendment constitutional protections of due process and equal protection.

On August 4, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker agreed, ruling that the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

"Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license," Walker, who was appointed to the federal bench by former President George H.W. Bush, wrote in his 136-page opinion. "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."

Same-sex marriage works for some. Opposite-sex marriage works for others. Monogamous marriage works for some. Polygamous marriage works for others. Some people don’t want to get married at all. Everyone should have their freedoms. Consenting adults should not be denied their right to marriage based on age, race, gender, sexual orientation, number of spouses, or relation.

Same-sex marriage is currently legal in five states and in the District of Columbia. The five states are Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa and New Hampshire.

Vote with your feet, because while this report says…

Walker's landmark ruling led to a swift federal appeal that could ultimately reach the Supreme Court.

...Some analysts have said that the ruling could be written in a way that keeps the Supreme Court out of it and only restores the freedom to marry to same sex couples in California. It would be great if the ruling applied nationwide and was backed up by the Supreme Court, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens. In my dreams, the Supreme Court takes up the case and rules for full marriage equality nationwide, but I don’t think that is likely. What is more likely is advancing to full marriage equality based on this freedom to marry and other precedents.
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