August 4th, 2010
04:48 PM ET
11 years ago

California Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage overturned

(CNN) - A federal judge in California on Wednesday overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage, saying the voter-approved rule violated the constitutional rights of gays and lesbians.

The decision, issued by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco, is an initial step in what will likely be a lengthy legal fight over California's Proposition 8, which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

At stake in the trial was whether California's ban on same-sex marriage violated the constitutional rights to equal protection and due process of two gay couples that want to marry.

Full Story

Updated: 5:25 p.m.

Filed under: California • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Steph

    Yay! Yippee! Yahoo! Yes!

    August 4, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  2. Mike G

    Well done.

    Of course, this will eventually end up at the Supreme Court, but this is a good start.

    August 4, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  3. BeverlyNC

    Thank goodness decency finally won out. Now let's get "don't ask, don't tell" repealed so ALL Americans can live and serve America with total personal freedom.

    It's past time to end all the hate and the division the Republican Party has been promoting since President Obama took office.

    August 4, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  4. larry

    Thank God for the U. S, constitution and the fact that it protects all regardless of race, creed, colour or sexual orientation.

    August 4, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. vic

    Justice served last week and this week

    August 4, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  6. Jim Bloor

    Finally; justice prevails over prejudice, organized religion, ignorance, and hatred! So what if it goes to the Supreme Court – gay marriage will be made legal there, too 🙂

    August 4, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. Naqib

    Now... just let paligamy get by and we are in business... as it should not be prohibited either... and having 8 or 10 spouses could be pretty cool... would love the exemtions on that one

    August 4, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. Steve (the real one)

    Not exactly a surprise now is it?

    August 4, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  9. anagram_kid

    I think the best solution is to stop recognizing religious marriages as a legal arrangement and have only contractual/civil ‘marriages’. This would mean it could only involve consenting adults, no children, chickens or pets, as none of those can engage in a contract. And yes this would allow for polygamy, but the number of these cases would be insignificant.
    If people need to have their imaginary friend in the sky know they are ‘together’ they can have a ceremony. Besides marriage in the traditional Judeo-Christian tradition is not about love or sex; it is about property and inheritance.

    August 4, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. SoArizona

    So this judge is stating that same sex marriage is constitutionally protected......

    August 4, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. Shari from Madison WI

    This is great news, I just hope it stands up to the challenge it is going to get. Right Wing Bible Thumpers, who take passages of the bible out of context and ignore other passages will fight this until they can fight no more. I say that being Homosexual is not in most cases a choice. Who would be foolish enough to choose to be discriminated against? The passage most used to condemn homosexuals is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Well if you really look at the context it was written in the sin was really that the people were not hospitable and they had casual sex with both sexes.

    I pray this ruling stands!

    August 4, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  12. Sam

    It will be appealed successfully within days. There were so many points where he went too far in his decisions that the Prop 8 people have a multitude of reversible errors.

    August 4, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  13. Jilli

    Wooo hooo!!! It's a great day to be an American!!!!

    August 4, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  14. water bearer

    Awesome! I knew it was just a matter of time before it was thrown out!

    August 4, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  15. Andrea

    What EQUAL protection clause? Marriage is only defined by the covenenant between one man and one woman before God. What about the rights of true married people? The United States is Supposed to be ONE nation under God. I cannot support something that goes against my rights.

    August 4, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  16. Brittany Jones

    Love is love, it has no gender or race!

    August 4, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  17. New Age Independant

    Hardly a surprise coming from a liberal activist judge. He was even ordered by the US Supreme Court to stop intimidation tactics against opponents of same sex marriage back in Jan. Why this tool is a judge is beyond all reason.

    August 4, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  18. AnneSD

    Thank goodness. Now if we could just get the extremist supporters to learn 2 things:

    1 - their religion can NOT be used as a basis for laws for the state and
    2 - they need to mind their own business and keep the state out of people's bedrooms.

    I am a longtime firm conservative Republican and I found the whole idea of this proposition utterly offensive, both as a matter of law and of logic.

    August 4, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  19. Robert

    Thank goodness! Government - including the courts - have an obligation to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority. And voter approval of Prop 8 was nothing more than the tyranny of right-wing religious biggots (heavily funded by the Mormon church, enough said) spreading their usual mix of lies, hate and fear in order to deny equal rights to ALL citizens. Mob rule is not democracy. They can "appeal" this decision all they want, but the tide of history is clear.

    August 4, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  20. jules sand-perkins

    Judge Walker is right, no matter how much you are threatened by homosexuality.

    August 4, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  21. Ancient Texan

    No surprise here. Judges have a knack for going against the wishes and beliefs of just "ordinary" folk. It's got to do with that "superior liberal intelligence" versus the common folks.

    August 4, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  22. Tony

    A very big resounding "DUH" too all who have opposed same-sex marriage.

    August 4, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  23. Bob in Pa

    Another Judge that should have been flunked out of law school.

    August 4, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  24. al in memphis

    Strange that when the people express their opinion through the ballot box that a judge can come and overturn it. What if it had gone the other way and another judge put in a ban - the out cry would have been tremendous about how people personal sexual preference is being violated. The constitution does not say anything about freedom of sexual preference. Every citizen has a right to enjoy their personal choice in a private setting, but the constitution does not govern every aspect of our lives -

    When ministers offer their opinion on same sex marriage, they are not protected by the constitution. –why

    August 4, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  25. JonDie

    Good. Any two people should be able to form a contractual union.

    August 4, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
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