California Court Overturns Ban on Gay Marriage

The 9th Circuit Court in California struck down as unconstitutional the state’s voter-passed ban on gay marriage Tuesday, ruling 2-1 that it violates the rights of gay Californians.

“Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples,” Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote in the decision. The court concludes that the law violates the 14th Amendment rights of gay couples to equal protection under the law. Access to gay marriage will remain on hold pending appeals to the decision.

The Circuit Court backed up District Judge Vaughn Walker, who ruled in August of 2010 that the state of California has no “rational basis” to single out gay men and women as ineligible for marriage. The group fighting for Prop. 8, which passed in 2008 after thousands of gay couples had already married, appealed Walker’s decision arguing that it should be vacated because Walker is gay and has a same-sex partner. The 9th Circuit Court judges denied this motion.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney released a statement saying the “fight” over states’ rights to ban gay marriage is not over. “Today, unelected judges cast aside the will of the people of California who voted to protect traditional marriage,” he said, adding that he would appoint judges who oppose same-sex marriage if he’s elected. President Obama also opposes same-sex marriage, but says that his opinion on the issue is “evolving.”

Source: Yahoo News

Image: The Hollywood Reporter