A pending appeal of the landmark ruling in California could prevent gay marriage from resuming in the state any time soon. A coalition of religious and conservative groups that sponsored Prop 8 – and defended it in court after Gov. Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown refused to – said it would immediately appeal the decision. The 13-day trial was the first in a federal court to examine if the U.S. Constitution prevents states from denying gays the right to wed.
Prop. 8 Judge issues pro-family ruling in landmark case
A U.S. District Court judge ruled the state of California was in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause when in 2008 it eliminated marriage rights for same-sex couples with the passage of Proposition 8. Judge Vaughn Walker found that marriage is a fundamental right for all. The judge’s decision is widely expected to be appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Today, we celebrate the court’s decision that upheld the rights of liberty and equality enshrined in our Constitution,” said Family Equality Council’s Executive Director, Jennifer Chrisler. “Judge Walker reaffirmed that marriage equality would do nothing but benefit our children. Congratulations are in order to the plaintiffs in this care, including Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier, who can now be married like any other parent.”
It is the first time a federal court has heard, first hand, from live witnesses about the harm that the denial of marriage equality causes same-sex couples and their families every day.
“We celebrate today but our work is far from over,” said Chrisler. “There is a long legal road ahead of us, and LGBT parents must get to work. At the end of the day, this is about our children. As parents, we are in the best position to speak to straight parents about what it means to us and our kids to marry.”
Family Equality Council also applauds the many pro-family statements that David Blakenhorn, the star witness for supporters of Proposition 8, ironically made throughout the course of the trial.
“Gay marriage would extend a wide range of the natural and practical benefits of marriage to many lesbian and gay couples and their children,” said Blankenhorn on January 27, 2010. On the same day he admitted, “By increasing the number of married couples who might be interested in adoption and foster care, same-sex marriage might well lead to fewer children growing up in state institutions and more growing up in loving adoptive and foster families.”