August 4th, 2010
04:48 PM ET
12 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. Steven V.

    This is yet another sad day for the TRUE institution of marriage – one man and one woman only. Man should not lie with another man as with a woman. I can hardly wait for the day when I can move to a place like Japan or Singapore, where marriage is still defined as 1 man and 1 woman. This country is neither the one I was born in, nor the one I want to die in. It has become evermore a cesspool of immorality and an economic ghetto.

    Steven V.
    Pensacola, FL, USA

    August 4, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. Rickster

    Once again an activist(and, oh by the way, a gay) judge overruling the will of the people. Wake up, people. Take our country back.

    August 4, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    As a straight person with friends and relatives who are gay, all I can say is:


    August 4, 2010 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. Stevik


    In 20 years almost everyone will wonder what all the fuss was about. Any two people who want to marry each other should not be prevented from doing so.

    Marriage for all is in our future. Bigotry will not stop it. Love will prevail.

    August 4, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. Tree

    Does it not seem odd that the judge that ruled in this case was one of only 3 openly gay judges in the United States. Do you think there could be any bias involved in this decision?? DUH!!!

    August 4, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. Sam

    Not surprised that a judge in San Francisco decided in that way. Doubt that his decision will stand though. The question about «rational basis» in elections is bogus. The people from the left have always been astounded by people voting for Bush and question rationality. Same from the right as to people voting for Clinton.

    Question I ask is based on the comment by the plaintiff on TV a few minutes ago. He stated that it should never be for the states or the government to decide who he can marry. Good question. Then why is it allowable for states and governments to disallow people to marry whomever they want, as in plural marriages. Governments held that over Utah's head for statehood. They had to make plural marriage illegal in order to receive statehood. Every argument to change the words «one man and one woman» to allow for same-sex can also be made for allowing one man and two women or one woman and three men. Their arrangement does not affect anybody else's marriage. What they want to do behind their doors should be left to them. But wait, they are a minority who don't have the push of all of these gay film-makers that change public attitude through the media.

    August 4, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. jayjay1


    Victory for the forces of GOOD for a change in this socially backward country!

    August 4, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  8. Marty, FL

    This is a great exampe where both conservative & liberal viewpoints (Bush v. Gore lawyers) can come together to uphold equality for all Americans based on constitutional principles.

    God bless America

    August 4, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  9. Rushs unseen, unheard, staff are the people he has callin to his show

    Looks like everyone is interpreting the Constitution for their own reasons in todays world.

    August 4, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  10. Victim of Purtian-Fascists

    Get ready for the battle between the wings...and endless wedge issue debate to hijack the political microscope. Sexuality and religion don't mix with politics. The first amendment to the US Constitution says it.

    August 4, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  11. lfrennie

    Rick, Wolf....Why don't you get to the real story regarding Prop 8.
    The reason gay marriage, in California,was voted down in the first place were the milions and millions of dollars poured into it's defeat by the Mormon Church!!!

    August 4, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  12. normajean

    ONE JUDGE CAN OVERRULE WHAT THE VOTERS APPROVED? CONTITUTIONAL "EQUAL PROTECTION"? From what are they being protected.? I am not as much against same sex marraige as I am against ANYONE fooling around with the Constitution and the rights of voters to have their votes count .Is this not a Democracy?

    August 4, 2010 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  13. Klaxon McFlinderginder

    Right-wing heads are exploding everywhere as their bigotries take another hit. All the limbots are hysterically turning on their radios to find out what their opinions are on the matter.

    It's a shame that so many people cannot deal with real freedom.

    August 4, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  14. Kady

    It's about damn time!!

    August 4, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  15. Jim

    can we all just now chill and let other people live as they choose??

    August 4, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  16. Gerry NH

    I assume that when the people in California vote infavor of proposition 8 that there vote doesn't count. I also assume that there may not need any reason to vote because if the majority of the people vote for something then the court can overturn their vote.

    August 4, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  17. Hammerer

    A openly gay judge rules that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. No. Really?
    Who would believe that?

    August 4, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  18. Robert NY

    It's a great day for fairness and equality in the US. You can not vote away an individuals rights.

    August 4, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  19. Stymie

    Remember, the 'ones in black' can give you rights, but they can also take your rights away.

    August 4, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  20. guest123

    Maybe there is a god?

    August 4, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  21. Willa

    I love it! The country is tunning out the right wing republicans tea nuts!

    August 4, 2010 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  22. jules sand-perkins

    Bravissimi to the brave civil rights activists in California on this advance from "Liberty and Justice for Some."

    August 4, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  23. NancyLV

    It is hard to believe that one judge can overturn the decisions of the voters hard to believe but this day and age nothing surprises me this is not the US that i grew up in and this sets a presidence why vote it will be over turned anyway when you get the criers out there protesting except for the president of course why can't we the ones that did not vote for him stand up long enough complain long enough cry long enough say he is unconstitutional and have a judge throw him out even though he had the majority vote.

    August 4, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  24. Name

    Per usual, the will of the people ignored & their voices silenced by an activist judge for a "protected. class" who don't want the SAME rights but more rights. It's time for those who know better to stop cowering & feeling guilty about those who want to destroy this country & make you subclass by virtue of YOUR common sense, values, sensibility, orientation, etc because they want to "funamentally change" your country

    August 4, 2010 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  25. Margaret Anderson/Boise, Idaho

    These folks deserve to have the same rights that the rest of us take for granted. What makes people think they are more deserving of this gift of marriage than the rest of us. They have done nothing wrong except to a minority who thinks they are on some pedestal that sits a little too high.

    August 4, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
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