California ban on same-sex marriage lifted
Written by Brendan Bolger | 05 August 2010
The ban on same-sex marriage in California has been overturned in a court case that could now reportedly be settled by the US Supreme Court as to whether there is a constitutional right for lesbian and gay couples to get married.
Federal Judge Vauhgn R. Walker has presided over the case since January taking witness testimony, delivering his judgment this morning (Sydney time) saying California “has no interest in differentiating between same-sex couples and opposite-sex unions”.
“The evidence shows conclusively that moral and religious views form the only basis for a belief that same-sex couples are different from opposite-sex couples,” Walker wrote in his 136-page ruling, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Proposition 8 – passed by a majority of California constituents on November 8, 2008 that outlawed same-sex marriage – came into effect just five months after the California Supreme Court legalised gay and lesbian marriage.
Its proponents argued the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman deserved protection and children were best raised by a mother and father, presenting only two witnesses who reportedly made concessions under cross-examination that effectively supported lifting the ban.
Testimony was heard from 16 opposing witnesses to the proposition who said that children raised by same-sex parents fared as well as children raised by opposite-sex parents, also claiming that the institution of marriage had been granted greater esteem due to the outcry for same-sex marriage.
While the ban has been lifted, marriage licenses may take some time to be granted to same-sex couples if officials decide the decision should be suspended to provide the proposition’s proponents to lodge appeals with the 9th US Circuit of Court of Appeals.
The state still recognises some 18,000 same-sex marriage licenses that were granted before the proposition came into effect.
The Prop 8 verdict sent celebrities including Ellen, Adam Lambert and Ricky Martin into a Twitter frenzy. Here’s how Hollywood has reacted to the decision:
Celebrities protest Prop 8 at a rally in 2009
* “This just in: Equality won!” Ellen DeGeneres
* “I am ecstatic that proposition 8 has been overturned in the state of California. This is an incredibly exciting and historical day and a big step towards equal rights for all.” Portia De Rossi
* “Amazing news about Prop8 being overturned. Now The Sun can make up engagement stories about everyone!” Eli Roth
* “What a huge historical day for equal rights in this country! They finally overturned Prop 8! There shouldn’t be a law on true love. :)” Paris Hilton
* “Prop 8 was struck down! This news is amazing!!!! Its about time! Congrats to everyone!” Kim Kardashian
* “I am crying with absolute joy! Thank you thank you thank you for letting equality win. All men are created equal! Period!!!” Christina Applegate
* “So happy over the news on prop8 its about time!” Kelly Osbourne
* “Go Judge Walker. I can’t wait to go to some seriously awesome weddings.” Elizabeth Banks
* “Prop 8 was always my least favorite Prop. Favorite Prop: Joe.” Seth Myers
* “Prop 8 overturned in California! Praise God!” Kristin Chenoweth
* “YEAHHHHH!!!!! #PROP8UNCONSTITUTIONAL MOVING FORWARD!!!!!!!! RT please.” Ricky Martin
* “We’re gonna throw glitter on this barn tonight!!!” Adam Lambert
* “Congrats on the overturning of Prop 8!!!!” Lance Bass