In a breathtaking ruling moments ago U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that California's infamous Proposition 8 is unconstitutional under due process and equal protection. The judge issued an astonishing 138 page ruling that invalidates the clause stating that "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
Judge Walker stated, "Having considered the trial evidence and the arguments of counsel, the court pursuant to FRCP 52(a) finds that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional and that its enforcement must be enjoined."
I certainly applaud this great victory for gays and lesbians. I personally have fought long and hard on this blog and in real life to see this become the norm nationwide. As a Unitarian-Universalist I have participated in many gay marriage ceremonies and have many friends who have the benefit of that religious ceremony, but suffer with none of the legal benefits this ruling will now allow.
But, to be certain, this battle is far from over and that the court decided to overturn thousands of years of historical precedent and overrule the overwhelming will of the majority of the people is troubling.
A better victory, in my opinion, would have been a popular vote overturning Proposition 8 and I believe that was coming. Now the case will go to the Supreme Court and I think the outcome there is far from certain.
I am not a lawyer and I've not yet read the entire 138 page opinion, but I believe the judge was on shaky legal ground. I want the ruling to stand; I fear it will not.
On the plus side of the upcoming legal battle, fighting for the rights of gays and lesbians is former United States Solicitor General (under Prersident George W. Bush) Ted Olson, and famous Democratic attorney David Boies, one of the greatest attorneys to ever practice law.
Do you recognise the names? Olson and Boies both gained great fame when they were the lead attorneys on OPPOSITE SIDES of the landmark Bush v. Gore lawsuit which resolved the Florida electoral dispute in the 2000 election. Olsen may have won that battle, but now they are fighting as a team.Back here in the non-legal real world we still have all the real work, all the heavy lifting yet to do. Our jobs will be done only when society at large accepts gay marriage. Only then will it truly become a reality.