California gay marriage ban struck down

2012-02-07 22:29

San Francisco - A US appeals court on Tuesday found California's gay marriage ban unconstitutional in a case that is likely to lead to a showdown on the issue in the US Supreme Court.

The split 2-1 decision from the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals featured two Democratically appointed judges voting in favor of striking down the ban, while a Republican judge dissented.

California joined the vast majority of US states in outlawing same-sex marriage in 2008, when voters passed the ban known as Proposition 8.

The 2008 socially conservative vote by a state more known for hippies and Hollywood was seen as a watershed by both sides of the so-called culture wars, and two gay couples responded by filing the legal challenge currently making its way through the federal courts.

A federal judge in San Francisco struck down Proposition 8 in 2010, and gay marriage opponents appealed that ruling to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals.

Opponents and supporters of same-sex marriage both have said they are ready to appeal the decision all the way to the US Supreme Court.

Opponents of gay marriage could ask a larger 9th Circuit panel to hear the matter, or decide to appeal directly to the Supreme Court.

"Although the Constitution permits communities to enact most laws they believe to be desirable," 9th Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote, "it requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently."

"There was no such reason that Proposition 8 could have been enacted," Reinhardt wrote.

About 40 of the 50 US states had outlawed gay marriage before a California state court ruled in 2008 that a ban was unconstitutional, leading to a summer of gay marriages. But California voters that November decided to change the state constitution to limit marriage to a man and woman.

  • Cracker - 2012-02-07 22:44

    Just leave others alone. Let them whatever while others also whatever.

      Godfrey - 2012-02-08 04:13

      Agreed. What I would like an explanation for is what adverse effects gay marriage has on heterosexual marriages and why are are religious types so anxious to suppress it?

      Charlie - 2012-02-08 07:17

      I can not believe that this is still an issue to people! When the same sex marriage laws came through in December 2006, all the SA conservatives were preparing for their heavens and their gods to come down and smite us. And would you believe, we're all still here. Us same sex families still living our boring, normal lives. Your wives and husbands safe. There are really bigger issues to worry about, than who sleeps with whom.

  • Fredster - 2012-02-08 08:29

    It should not be called Marriage...You can call it what you want. Marriage is instituted by God between a man and a woman.

      beryl.knipe - 2012-02-08 08:41

      Nicely said Fredster!

      Fred - 2012-02-08 08:47

      Yeah right, like God is going to discriminate. God is love, not a bigot like you.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-02-08 09:20

      Should Atheists not marry then ?

      Sam - 2012-02-08 09:47

      Really, Fred? When did Christianity copyright the word 'Marriage'? So are people of other religions or people that don't believe in a god not allowed to marry?

      J-Man - 2012-02-08 10:04

      Oh Fredster give us a break with your hypocritical God stuff.

      Phoenix - 2012-02-08 10:20

      LOL heterosexual people do not have sole right to marriage. Also, marriage has been around a LOT longer than your God - so give it a rest.

  • Amy - 2012-02-08 08:50

    i dont believe in god. yet i will still get married one day. so what is the difference between me having a marriage ceremony, legally, without "god", and two guys having the same thing exactly? how would some people feel if god was outlawed because i, and many others, do not believe in him? if you dont want your rights taken away, dont infringe upon others rights.

      Cracker - 2012-02-08 10:21

      @ Amy Exactly. The only way to guarantee your own freedoms is by guaranteeing the freedoms of others. You do not have to like what they do or become part of their practices to stand up for their freedoms and thereby for your own freedoms.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-02-08 14:48

    The fight seem to have more to do with the word marriage than anything else, the idea is to force gay couples to be tied in a legal union, the church citing the domain of "Marriage" is and always will be used to specify a union of two people of opposite sexes.

  • Fidel - 2012-02-08 14:58

    Attempts to legislate morality are extremely annoying. Consensual action between adults should be a private matter and it is intrusive that a minority within the population is, in essence, attempting to tell others what to think, feel, believe, and act.

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