Federal Judge Overturns California’s Prop. 8 Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker issued a ruling this afternoon overturning California’s Proposition 8, determining that the ballot initiative which passed in 2008 violated the U.S. Constitution’s due process and equal protection clauses.

The ban does not mean couples can run down to the nearest courthouse to get married however.  As the Associated Press reported:

Despite the favorable ruling for same-sex couples, gay marriage will not be allowed to resume. That’s because the judge said he wants to decide whether his order should be suspended while the proponents pursue their appeal in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The judge ordered both sides to submit written arguments by Aug. 6 on the issue.

The 136-page ruling contained surprisingly strong language condemning the ballot initiative from the federal judge, who was originally nominated by President Ronald Reagan:

Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. 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.

A full copy of the opinion can be found here.

John Corcoran is an Associate with Plastiras & Terrizzi law firm in San Rafael, California (Marin County).  He advises clients on real estate matters, small business issues, estate planning, and general civil litigation.  He may be reached at [email protected] or (415) 472-8100 x211.