Proposition 8, the voter initiative that banned same-sex marriage in California in 2008, has just been overturned by a three-judge panel at the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
From here, Prop. 8 backers ProtectMarriage — who have promised to appeal to the end — can take their case to a larger panel at the 9th Circuit or directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.
According to the Los Angeles Times, today's decision was 2-1 in favor of holding up Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker's previous ruling, two summers ago, to strike down Prop. 8.
Walker's judgment was soon called into question when it was revealed that he himself was involved in a long-term relationship with a man.
The glamorous NOH8 campaign, based right here in Hollywood, writes on its blog that although LGBT couples are still unsure when, exactly, they'll be able to take this victory to the chapel …
“For now, we must celebrate this huge advance for gay rights and continue this year's momentum of the positive forces for change we've seen in places like Washington state, Delaware, Hawaii, and of course New York. This is an incredible day for couples not only in California but across the United States.”
Indeed. Because today's decision was made in a federal court, it means that any attempt by any other state to let voters ban gay marriage would likely be deemed unconstitutional from the outset.
Strong, resolute words from the court this morning:
“Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California.”
Here's the decision in full.