California Court Rules Gay-Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Prop 8And now the Supremes will decide. Via Reuters:

The U.S. 9th Circuit of Appeals in San Francisco Tuesday upheld a lower court decision, which had declared unconstitutional California’s controversial Proposition 8 banning same sex marriage.

The matter is now expected to travel to the U.S. Supreme Court. The ruling, made by judges Stephen Reinhardt, Michael Daly Hawkins and Randy Smith — appointed by Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush respectively — ruled on both the constitutionality of Prop 8 and whether the judge who struck down Prop 8 should have recused because he is gay. They heard oral arguments on the constitutionality question more than a year ago, and the recusal matter in December.

California voters agreed to Prop 8 — also known as the California Marriage Protection Act — in November 2008 by a 52 to 47 percent margin (approximately 13 million voters took part). That vote inserted language in the state constitution expressly allowing marriage only between a man and a woman.

More: Reuters

3 Comments on "California Court Rules Gay-Marriage Ban Unconstitutional"

  1. doktorpsilo | Feb 7, 2012 at 4:09 pm |

    Even though the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is located in San Francisco, this does not make it a “California Court”. As a very popular wiki encyclopedia would say “The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (in case citations, 9th Cir.) is a U.S. federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts” in many western states. This is why the next appeal would have to go to the Supreme Court; it is the next highest authority (having appellate jurisdiction over all districts/the entire USA).

  2. I’m glad the constitutionality of the previous judge was upheld…not for the sake of gay marriage…but because the legal principle that was set forth as the center of the decision was ironclad and a baseline for all federal examinations of state law. Recusing him for being gay opens the door to such horrors as assuming de facto that no woman can rule on womens issues, no man upon mens issues, no Asian upon Asian issues, etc etc. Such a lunatic approach would drive our already damaged legal system down the road to complete chaos. The only questions in such cases should be examination of the final decision…and the legal merits/debits thereof…not the tired political theater that colors the rest of our lives. In the case of the previous ruling, it was clear that the principle at stake was whether a state could by popular vote dismiss human/civil rights. To have found otherwise would be to claim that federal law has no hold upon the states if a common vote determines even the ridiculous should be state law. Imagine something as repulsive as a complete statewide redaction of federal safety laws (which may be few and toothless…but still have a slight impact on the way we live and work). Imagine a state deciding that parents have the right to murder their children for religious reasons. Or perhaps a state with no drug laws of any kind…right next to a state with the harshest in the land. Or a state where rape doesn’t legally exist…or child molestation. At some point we must place federal law ahead of state whims, to preserve a reasonable amount of legal clarity nationwide. The 9th circuit court did only what it could have, and should have, done: upheld a ruling that was clear, consistent, principled and right.

  3. Bigots lost again. Welcome to the 21st Century.

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