Yesterday, the US Federal Appeals Court declared that the controversial (and citizen-elected) ban on same-sex marriage in California is unconstitutional. Proposition 8 has officially been overturned.
via the Wall Street Journal:
A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down California’s voter-mandated ban on gay marriages, but stopped short of finding that other states or the federal government were required to recognize same-sex marriage. The decision sets the stage for the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on gay marriage as soon as next year, and could add fuel to the issue in the presidential campaign. In a 2-1 vote, a panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said California’s 2008 law, popularly known as Proposition 8, violated the 14th Amendment’s equal-protection clause by stigmatizing a minority group without legitimate reason.
Nationally-acclaimed talk show host and gay rights advocate Ellen DeGeneres praised the court’s decision. “There was some good news for marriage equality in California yesterday,” she told viewers during her monologue this morning. “For a long time, same-sex marriage was not legal. Then, here in California, it was legal for like 25 minutes. Then it was not legal again because of something called Prop 8, which banned same-sex marriage.”
“I’m happy to say that yesterday an appeals court ruled that Prop 8 was unconstitutional,” she continued. “It’s a step in the right direction. So I’m happy.”
While the hold on same sex marriages in California will likely continue at least temporarily (in anticipation of further appeals), this ruling sets a precedent for arguments to be made for pro-same-sex marriage legislation in other states. If you’re not registered to vote yet, now is the time. Proposition 8 was elected by the people of California, not a group of legislators from high above. Your vote matters.