The Equal Justice Society celebrates the ruling today by U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional and violates the United States Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law.
According to Judge Walker: “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. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.” Download a PDF of the ruling.
Under the decision, same-sex couples are not immediately allowed to marry. Judge Walker will decide after August 6 whether to stay his order while the case is being appealed, or allow marriages to resume in the interim.
As a racial justice organization committed to working with others to ensure that the rights of all are expanded — especially those who have been historically denied equal protection under the law — the Equal Justice Society opposed Prop. 8.
Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and a member of the EJS board of directors, observed:
“[W]hile we should savor today’s victory, this is just another step in our journey to full justice and dignity for our lives and our choices-including the freedom to choose whether and whom to marry.
“We must continue to reach out and have conversations about our families and our lives with our friends, our loved ones, our allies. By sharing our stories, we win the hearts and minds of others who may not share our views, and create a world where all families are valued and respected as fully equal.”