Passed in 2008, Proposition 8 created a state constitutional ban on marriage rights for same-sex couples in California. In his ruling, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker ruled the ban violates the Equal Protection and Due Process guarantees of the U.S. Constitution.
“Plaintiffs have demonstrated by overwhelming evidence that Proposition 8 violates their due process and equal protection rights and that they will continue to suffer these constitutional violations until state officials cease enforcement of Proposition 8. California is able to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, as it has already issued 18,000 marriage licenses to same-sex couples and has not suffered any demonstrated harm as a result, see FF 64-66; moreover, California officials have chosen not to defend Proposition 8 in these proceedings.
“Because Proposition 8 is unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, the court orders entry of judgment permanently enjoining its enforcement; prohibiting the official defendants from applying or enforcing Proposition 8 and directing the official defendants that all persons under their control or supervision shall not apply or enforce Proposition 8. The clerk is DIRECTED to enter judgment without bond in favor of plaintiffs and plaintiff-intervenors and against defendants and defendant-intervenors pursuant to FRCP 58.”
A stay pending appeal has been issued. For now, there will be no more new marriages for same-sex couples. Word on the street is that the case will make its way to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in October.
Photo by: Scubaben, via Flickr.