August 12th, 2010
03:49 PM ET
8 years ago

Prop 8 stay lifted by judge

Los Angeles, California (CNN) - A federal judge ruled on Thursday to allow same-sex couples to marry in California, starting on August 18, handing another big victory to supporters of gay rights in a case that both sides say will likely end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Last week, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that voter-approved Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution. Walker had issued a temporary stay on his decision, which on Thursday he said he would lift.

The high-profile case is being watched closely by supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage, as many say it will make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. If it does, the case could result in a landmark decision on whether people in the United States are allowed to marry people of the same sex.

Same-sex marriage is legal in five U.S. states and in the District of Columbia, while civil unions are permitted in New Jersey. The five states are Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa and New Hampshire.

Read the ruling in its entirety here [pdf]

Filed under: California • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. independent

    Wait a minute. Does this mean California is going to treat all of its citizens equally? That can't be right.

    August 12, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    Hmmm.... an "activist judge" overruling a popular vote... Where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, the 2000 presidential election. Get over it, neoclowns and randroids. Have a nice day!

    August 12, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. annie s

    Sanity – and equal rights – wins the day!

    August 12, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. nancy

    it should not matter if you are gay or straight. you should have the right to marry. anybody oppossed, remember, this same arguement was used to stop intra-racial marriages. did that have any impact on marriage?


    August 12, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. Dale

    Absolutely stupid. Again the people have been over run by the courts.
    You people in CA fed up yet?
    Nothing you say matters. Better rember that in November.
    Judges just told you to kiss their as*. Pelosi and boxer have been screwing you for years.
    Keep voting liberal.....

    August 12, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. panterazero

    Prop 8 is dead and shovel-ready. Just goes to prove, even if a majority of "the people" vote to strip fellow citizens of their constitutional rights, it won't stand - that's what the Constitution is about.

    Prop 8 was only passed to begin with because contributors from other states poured money into the campaign in California, and imho, contributions to state campaigns originating from other states are what should be forbidden. See also: Valero and Tesoro in Texas funding opposition to California's clean air legislation. Shouldn't be allowed to happen.

    August 12, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  7. John G

    What a sensible ruling. The judge obviously knows that his ruling will be upheld during the various appeals process.

    And just to refresh everybody's memory: In the United States, we have popular sovereignty, meaning that the people are the government, and vice versa. As such, the Prop 8 referendum was an action of government. Now, in California, all actions of government must abide by the California and federal constitutions. The issue here is that California's constitution was incompatible with the federal constitution, which quite obviously takes precedence as it's the law of the land.

    Just because people get to vote on something doesn't automatically make it constitutional. Elections don't always equate to democracy.

    August 12, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  8. Mike in TX

    This is great! Marriage equality for all.

    August 12, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. Marvin

    If the Federal government reverses results that the voting public passed initially, why even waste the time to go out and vote? This will happen again if the marijuana legalization prop passes – just like it did last time.

    Looks like the liberals got another big win today by ignoring millions of voters who passed legislation already – but I guess you have to be Democrat to be hear in this State.

    August 12, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  10. Bessy

    Great ! We have got to get religion out of folks' private lives.
    BTW–I am not gay !

    August 12, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. Eric

    As a conservative libertarian, I personally don't care who does what to whom, just so long as they're both adults and both are consenting.

    That said, I find it an affront to free democratic elections and our great republic when a single unelected, unaccountable black-robed bench warmer can singlehandedly invalidate the elected will of a free people.

    I fully support gays doing whatever, with whomever they choose, marriage included... but the sanctity of the electoral process matters more than anything, and this unelected, unaccountable judge has just said that it doesn't matter what voters say. Can you say ARROGANCE???

    And the Demo-communists wonder why their polling numbers aren't any better. In November, we'll witness the first steps of a 40-year-long Democrat march through the desert.

    August 12, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  12. Robert

    Praise the lord. One more step toward sanity on this issue, and ensuring that the U.S. Constitution protects the rights of ALL citizens, not just right-wing religious extremists who are trying to force their ill-informed misinterpretations of the Bible on the rest of us. Let's hear it for democracy, not theocracy. Amen.

    August 12, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. Zarathustra

    If the judge is, in fact, gay, shouldn't he have had the integrity to recuse himself from this case?

    The Findings of Fact in his decision reads like a progressive talking points memo. He was pretty much saying, "Can you believe people once thought like that? How ignorant and retrograde. Well, it's 2010, and now we know better."

    August 12, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. Repubs are not to be mourned or missed.

    Let them do what ever they want to do. If I am a Christian, I have no business forcing them to stop. and if I am not .. .then I don't care. Whats the Big Deal?

    August 12, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  15. terry,va

    And you wonder why California is bankrupt? There brain and reasoning just don't work like normal folks. Obummie should relocate the White House there.

    August 12, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. KenS

    Just to head off those protesters who will complain about this being a judge overriding the will of the majority: You wouldn't much like it if your town got together and decided that no resident could have more than 2 kids? How about if they voted to tax everyone who lives on YOUR street at 90%? What do you think prevents this from happening?

    It's called the Constitution, and it puts RESTRICTIONS on the majority's ability to impose its will on the minority. The will of the majority is limited. Get used to it.

    Bravo to this ruling!

    August 12, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. 8 Years of having a drunken driver at the wheel put America in the ditch, why would working Americans return the keys to the crowd drinking at the same bar?

    "Proponents also point to harm resulting from “a cloud of uncertainty” surrounding the validity of marriages performed after judgment is entered but before proponents’ appeal is resolved. Doc #705 at 10.

    **** Proponents have not, however, alleged that any of them seek to wed a same-sex spouse. ****

    Proponents admit that the harms they identify would be
    inflicted on “affected couples and * * * the State.” Id. Under
    the second factor the court considers only whether the party
    seeking a stay faces harm, yet proponents do not identify a harm to
    them that would result from denial of their motion to stay".

    Now there is a judge with a sense of humor and the FACTS.

    August 12, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. Tall Ed

    Good News!

    August 12, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. Mark

    Tolerance trumps bigotry.

    August 12, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  20. Micah

    Maybe it will help with restaurant and bar business in California. We need someone to spend some money.

    August 12, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  21. A Conservative

    What prevents those things Ken are parties tied to strong conservative values. Why do we pass laws? We do it in order to encourage or discourage behaviors, plain and simple. There is an advantage to society for marriage between a man and a woman by allowing society to continue through the next generation. What is it we are trying to encourage through Gay marriage besides a political statement?

    August 12, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  22. Dave

    Excellent! It's nice to see the zealots/bigots/idiots slapped down.

    August 12, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. Ric NY

    EXCELLENT NEWS!!! The rights of an oppressed minority can not be voted away by the majority.

    August 12, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  24. Ken in Pisgah Forest

    This is what America is all about, a Constitution that protects the rights of minorities from the will of the whacko majority and it makes me proud that logic can supercede emotion. For now, we are once again the land of the free, at least in a handful of states, and at least in this one aspect.

    For anyone opposed to same sex marriage, please right why you are.

    August 12, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  25. Orlando Patriot

    This debate is so much bigger than what many believe. I believe most individuals accept the fact that you can have same-sex partners and want to identify yourselves as a "couple" identified by law. That's fine and "civil unions" are accomplished in many states. However, this is a push from the left to "legitimize" and "normalize" the union of a same-sex couple and give it the same recognition as "marriage".

    This is incredibly wrong and must be stopped if our society is to exist. Why? Because marriage is a RELIGIOUS term acknowledging that religions over the years have identified that a MORAL and JUST society must lean towards a marriage (male and female) in order to pro-create and any other "union" although can me accepted by society is, by definition, unnatural. Why by definition? Because a society that were entirely same-sex couples could not exist for long

    Why the quick lesson? Because "marriage" is a spiritual term identifying the purpose of the union is to pro-create. Government has accepted the term "marriage" for tax/etc. reasons but government did not CREATE "marriage" but uses it as a term to recognize the religiously joined union. If government forces religions to "accept" a new term of "marriage" it will have drastic negative effects on society. For example, if this new definition of "marriage" is forced in the private sector then government can FORCE companies to accept THEIR new definition such as (for example) force a Catholic church to cover insurance for an employee in a "same-sex" union, and many other examples that would take too much time.

    In summary, we should allow a governmental definition called something else like a "civil union" acknowledging a same-sex couple is in a dedicated relationship now identified as a "legal union" but to call it "marriage" will in fact "normalize" and unnatural act and create havoc on our society for many years that may be the cause of moral and economic decline.

    August 12, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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