Federal judge overturns California’s gay marriage ban

Posted by: ST on August 4, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Via Fox News:

A federal judge on Wednesday overturned a California ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that the Proposition 8 ballot initiative was unconstitutional.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Vaugh Walker, one of three openly gay federal judges in the country, gave opponents of the controversial Proposition 8 ballot a major victory.

It was also a victory for former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson and attorney David Boies, who represented opposing sides in 2000 Bush v. Gore presidential election challenge and filed the lawsuit last year in federal court on behalf of two gay men and two gay women who claimed the voter-approved ban violated their civil rights.

Supporters argued the ban was necessary to safeguard the traditional understanding of marriage and to encourage responsible childbearing.

California voters passed the ban as Proposition 8 in November 2008, five months after the state Supreme Court legalized gay marriage.

Both sides previously said an appeal was certain if Walker did not rule in their favor. The case would go first to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, then the Supreme Court if the high court justices agree to review it.

Walker heard 13 days of testimony and arguments since January during the first trial in federal court to examine if states can prohibit gays from getting married.

Bill Jacobson has the full court ruling here. And in an update to the breaking news about Judge Vaughn’s ruling, Fox40 reports:

Judge has issued a stay in his order, meaning no same-sex weddings will take place in California pending an appeal.

For anyone interested in a detailed explanation of my opinion on gay marriage (I oppose it), click here and here. That, and the “rightness or wrongness of the Iraq war” are two topics I rarely ever debate anymore because between my blog and the various political forums I have posted at over the years, I have said pretty much all I can about it – and you just can’t get through to some people, especially those (mainly on the rad-left) who believe you are “bigoted” and “homophobic” for not supporting it. Been there, done that, got the battle scars.

That said, what are your thoughts on the ruling? Not surprisingly Twitter is abuzz right now with people happy about it as well as those who are angry, believing the courts have no right to overrule the will of the people. What say you?

More: Read related thoughts via The Anchoress.

RSS feed for comments on this post.


22 Responses to “Federal judge overturns California’s gay marriage ban”


  1. In my opinion the Judge substituted his personal views for the law. If the social concept of marriage is fundamentally changed, then where does this end? Internationally we can see the results of tampering with marriage as evidenced by the French woman who legally married a dolphin in the Pacific. Here in the U.S. the potential for multiple husbands and wives is a very real one as the same arguments for gay marriage can be made for that as well. Once the institution of marriage has been destroyed the unraveling of American culture will be complete.

  2. NC Cop says:

    Par for course from the left. If you don’t like how the people have voted, get it overruled!!!!

    Democracy……its whats for dinner.

  3. NeoKong says:

    An openly gay judge….?
    Gee…what are the odds on that ?
    What a bunch of bullcrap.
    They won the moment the judge was picked.
    Ted Olson could have argued that the dog ate his homework and still won the case.

  4. If there is no rational reason to oppose gay marriage, then how can there be any rational reason to oppose any variant of marriage? I guess we will have to accept polygamy, polyamory, and incestuous marriages now. Remember that Christian student who was told to accept homosexuality or not graduate? I guess some of us are due for some re-education. See you in class or maybe it will be camp some day.

  5. Phineas says:

    I haven’t read the decision, so I can’t comment on the case directly, other than to say the pro-gay marriage crowd may have won a Pyrrhic victory today: by ramming it through the courts, they risk a rebound against their cause that would undo all the gains they’ve made. If I were them, I would have worked to change the political culture, realizing that time was on my side.

    I also don’t like it that this has become a federal issue. Marriage (if government is to be involved at all) is a state matter and should remain with the states to allow for the meeting of regional needs. I equally oppose both the court determining a right to marriage exists and any effort to have the Constitution altered to define marriage nationally.

    That said, I was bothered by the number of people I saw on Twitter acting as if the judge had no authority to override a state proposition: of course he does, if he thinks the evidence shows the proposition violates the US Constitution. In a constitutional republic and under the rule of law, even the People do not have the right to violate the constitution – they can change it, but not violate it. If California were to pass a bill saying people with blonde hair could not own property, it would rightly be thrown out. If the judge is right that Prop 8 violated the 5th and 14th amendments, he was bound to overrule it. That said, the court’s ruling harmed the legitimacy of judicial review in many people’s eyes, today, I fear.

    As for same-sex marriage, I’m in favor of allowing it as a “civil union.” Since California instituted no-fault divorce in the 60s (IIRC), marriage here, as a matter of law, is really a form of contract. As far as I’m concerned (And I recognize my esteemed co-blogger and I disagree on this. :"> ), two adults of sound mind should be able to contract for most anything within very broad bounds*, and that includes a marriage relationship. Lochner lives, baby.

    *(And before anyone asks, yes, I do think polygamy and polyandry go beyond those bounds.)

  6. William Teach says:

    The leftards always scream for direct democracy, then, when the vote doesn’t go their way, they caterwaul and sue to thwart the will of the voters. (among other unsavory practices of theirs.)

  7. Matt Smith says:

    I’m pretty sure the “NAMBLA” and “NAMGLO” people should be celebrating as well. There are cases in the last few years, where men have been adopting children for their sexual desires. There was a case here in San Leandro, California. They quit work as they were making more money selling their adopted kids for sex.

    But the worst case was Frank Lombard of Duke University. He would sodomize his adopted 5 year old African American son over a web-cam and was selling access to him. I didn’t hear from Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton on this [just the sound of crickets].

  8. Nina says:

    This dangerous because they are now creating law and ignoring the Constitution. This type of decision is best left to the states. The government is going against the will of the people.

  9. Xrlq says:

    My thoughts on the issue are all over the map.

    Substantively, I used to think gay marriage was a bad idea, at least in the short run, but civil unions were an idea worth trying. The rationale was that our wonderful family law was tried and true for straight marriages, but gay marriages – which the gays themselves didn’t seem to want as recently as one generation ago – were a brand new experiment. Since then, my own divorce has convinced me that our laws relating to straight marriage are FUBAR, and if the introduction of gay marriages into the mix is the catalyst that prompts the overhaul of family law we need, anyway, so be it.

    Constitutionally, I think every one of these suits should be thrown out. If a state wants to enact gay marriage by statute, or even by constitutional amendment, they should be free to do so, and possibly even encouraged to do so. But I don’t want courts shoving that crap down their throats simply because a bunch of judges think their own personal preferences are law.

    Federalism-wise, I have no objection to the fact that this case is being decided at the federal level. All the state cases I’ve followed were based on state constitutional provisions that read identically to the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In fact, I found it rather weaselly that they kept going after state constitutional provisions just to create a precedent under the federal Constitution that the federal courts couldn’t reverse since they technically didn’t rule under the federal Constitution. At least Olson and Boies are admitting that it really is about the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment – and risking a loss in all 50 states if it doesn’t go their way in the end.

  10. Carlos says:

    It’s interesting that the left keeps screaming about their fear this country will become a theocracy if left to the devices of conservatives, yet they are imposing their own hedonistic practices on a society that has worked relatively well for well over two centuries.

    I guess their fear of theocracy doesn’t run to their own religion, huh?

  11. Steve Hussein Skubinna says:

    It has come to our attention that some of you voters are using the proscribed term “citizen” to describe yourself. This practice will end immediately.

    Further, some of you are “voting” in nonscheduled elections, for candidates other than those preselected for you, or on issues not presented by your designated leaders. This too will end immediately.

    Finally, it has come to our attention that illicit copies of the racist teabagger manifesto known as “the Constitution” are being passed around in public. All persons are directed to dispose of these hateful documents in the most expeditious environmentally friendly manner possible.

    We have always been at war with Eastasia.

  12. Ben David says:

    Middle of the road conservatives – and many people of faith – thought they could finesse this issue without running the gauntlet of PC denunciation.

    So they took the mealy-mouthed “some of my best friends are gay” route – tacitly accepting the gay activists’ lies and the carefully airbrushed Norman Rockwell version of gay couples and “communities” presented in the media (except on Pride Parade day, when the truth leaks out…)

    But political correctness quickly twists any arm extended to it.

    And now these lies – still unchallenged, even in court! – form the basis for this ruling.

    It is now almost impossible to present the real facts – the clear evidence of dysfunction in the gay subculture, and the lack of any evidence for the “born that way” lie – without being branded a hateful nutcase.

    Conservatives did this to themselves: they let themselves be snookered by the gay activists’ “pity me” opening gambit – and cowed by the predictable “my way or the highway” suckerpunch followup.

    This didn’t just happen – it was the plan. It’s how PC victimhood is deployed. Emotional manipulation and selective moral umbrage are used to box in one’s opponents.

    And conservatives fell for it.

  13. Kate says:

    Ah, yes, Orwell can rest comfortably knowing that his prediction of the course of human nature and society have been fulfilled….thanks to the overarching power of big government.

    @ Todd…see you in camp some day? I feel like my thoughts need to be reordered to keep me from totally losing it! How can I ever be a true citizen of this great nation if I keep thinking.

  14. CZ says:

    These dangerous times where the few impose their will on the many will soon come to an end. There will be a lot to repeal when the time comes.

    Hey, look! I can see November from my house.

  15. Tango says:

    ….the only thing that comes to mind is Sodom and Gamorrah. b-)

  16. Paul says:

    This is more judicial activism. The majority of Americans do not agree with the concept of Gay or Lesbian marriage despite what a California judge has stated in a ruling!

  17. Zippy says:

    I don’t wholly approve of gay marriage and (I will probably be slammed severely for this) my belief is that not all those who profess to be gay are in fact born that way. I’m a firm believer that traumatic events in ones life can create the atmosphere where a child can project themselves as a caretaker or surrogate spouse to a parent who is in an otherwise traumatic state, thus further traumatizing said child. In so doing, we are therefore allowing people with other traumatic social inadequacies to marry?

  18. Zippy says:

    *inadequacies = instabilities.

    IMHO it opens up a bigger can of worms.

  19. Steve Skubinna says:

    Well, I tend to agree with you Zippy, so they can slam the two of us.

    Come on, you slammers! Bring it!

    But I don’t think there is one “cause” of homosexuality. Some may very well be born hardwired that way, but I’ve known some gays that had huge psychological or emotional trauma, that definitely seemed linked to their sexuality. Likewise I’ve known some who seemed only to be dabbling or experimenting. And of course, just going by statistical probability here, I have known plenty of gays that I didn’t know were gay.

    Many gays are well adjusted normal people, who differ only in a private practice. I look on those people as akin to those who like cauliflower, or gangsta rap.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    But other gays, the militant ones, the ones who won’t go out in public without ensuring they shock and outrage, who use homosexuality as a shorthand to encompass their entire existence, who cannot define themselves without reference to their sexual practice, those people are NOT normal. Something is definitely wrong with them, and who they have sex with isn’t it. There’s a pronounced immaturity and exhibitionism and anti-social urge to most “public” gays.

  20. trapper says:

    Our sense of morality is being smothered,as another example of the court dictating what is wrong as being right.Some time in the future,we will wonder what ever happened to this countries sense of right and wrong,because of judicial activity of our courts.

  21. Marshall Art says:

    “Born that way” doesn’t enter into it. We’re all born “some way” and most of us have to control that which is either abnormal within us or potentially harmful to ourselves or others.

    I don’t believe in civil unions, or more accurately, pretend marriages of any kind. If a hetero couple wants to live together without getting married, they can’t expect marital considerations from the state. If two dudes want to pretend they’re man and wife, they aren’t, no matter if even the law says so. The whole thing is a lie. Marriage has been in trouble for a long time. That’s no excuse to screw it up even more by allowing perverts to pervert the definition.

    The judge stated that marriage is a union of two peoiple who commit to spending their lives together. That is not now, nore has it ever been the definition of marriage. Marriage is the union of one man and one woman who commit to spend their lives together.

    I don’t care if two guys want to pretend that they’re married. But they don’t have the right to force the rest of us to accept that they are normal. They are not. And they definitely don’t have the right to force their crap on our kids inthe shools. State sanctioning of their deviancy will mean that the state accepts the lies and must defend those lies. Everything about their arguments are lies.