Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker has overturned Proposition 8, California’s same-sex marriage ban, citing a violation of the equal protection clause under the 14th amendment. The case, which was originally brought to the court by two gay couples who claimed the voter-approved ban violated their civil rights, will most likely be appealed to the 9th circuit courts by Prop 8 proponents.
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.
The case was watched closely by both supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage, as many say it is likely to wind its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. If it does, the case could end in a landmark decision on whether people in the United States are allowed to marry people of the same sex.
“We are thrilled with today’s ruling, which affirms that the protections enshrined in our U.S. Constitution apply to all Americans and that our dream of equality and freedom deserves protection,” said Geoff Kors, executive director for Equality California, shortly after the decision.
Read more at CNN.com.
Background info from our blog, “Oy Gay”:
The judge presiding over the federal trial challenging Prop 8, which banned same sex marriage in California, will announce his decision on Wednesday, according to the Sacramento Bee. No specific release time has been mentioned, but sources close to the trial have told LAist that decisions can be released as early as 12 a.m. [Update: The decision will be filed sometime between 1 and 3 p.m. Wednesday, according to the court]
No matter the outcome, the decision is expected to be appealed.
Plans for a rally in West Hollywood have been in the works since last month, but organizers were waiting for a date. More details on events will come to light soon.