SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) _ U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker has overturned California’s same-sex marriage ban, a landmark case in which a lawsuit was filed by two gay couples who claimed they had their civil rights violated.

In his 136 page decision, Walker said Proposition 8 violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

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Sandra Stier, a plaintiff in the case said she is ecstatic.

“Tomorrow, because of this decision, I will know that we are treated in the law just like everybody else,” she said.

But Daniel Blomberg, Counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund said Walker is trying to overturn democracy.

“It’s the issue of respecting and upholding the right of free people to make policy choices through the democratic process,” he said.

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.

The plaintiffs presented 18 witnesses. Academic experts testified about topics ranging from the fitness of gay parents and religious views on homosexuality to the historical meaning of marriage and the political influence of the gay rights movement.

Defense lawyers called just two witnesses, claiming they did not need to present expert testimony because U.S. Supreme Court precedent was on their side. The attorneys also said gay marriage was an experiment with unknown social consequences that should be left to voters to accept or reject.

Click here for Judge Vaughn Walker’s Ruling

Judge Also Issues Temporary Stay

Along with the ruling, Judge Walker also issued a temporary stay, suspending the ruling until he has had time to consider a request by the supporters of Proposition 8 for a longer-term stay while they appeal his decision.

That means that no marriage licenses will be issued to same sex couples until Walker reaches a decision on the stay.

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He has ordered lawyers for the two same-sex couples who challenged Proposition 8 to respond to the request for a stay by Friday.

He said he may then decide whether to grant a further stay without holding a hearing.

What’s Next for Proposition 8?

It has long been assumed that the Prop 8 case would end up in the lap of the highest court in the land, but that may not be the case.

If an appeal is filed as expected, the first stop will be the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has been labeled as one of the most liberal appellate courts in the nation.

But Hastings College of the Law professor and former 9th Circuit clerk Lois Weithorn said it depends on the kind of judges pulled for the panel.

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“They will go through a process that will likely take about a year before the 9th Circuit will hear the case,” she said. “Given the prestige and skill of the lawyers who have represented the gay and lesbian couples, most likely, these lawyers will continue to represent them.”

After a 9th Circuit ruling, it’s expected that the case will be reviewed by the Supreme Court, but Weithorn said that’s not automatic.

“The Supreme Court may want to wait to see what our circuits do. It’s unclear whether or not this case will ultimately appear before the U.S. Supreme Court on this go-round or whether we’ll have to see similar cases emerging from other circuits before the U.S. Supreme Court will accept it.”

Comments (12)
  1. Peter Towle says:

    God still says that marriage is a covenant between one Man and one Woman and with God Himself regardless of so called “progressive thought”.. God is still on the throne!

    1. Cheryl says:

      Call me old fashioned but I was under the impression that religion was not supposed to influence law. Separation of church and state don’tcha know.

    2. C. Lorente says:

      I Love it when Bullies lose.

  2. garysund says:

    Times are changing and weather people like it or not they will have to accept the change. After gay marriage is legal it will become a non issue and life will go on. Lets focus on the real stuff like jobs and the economy.

  3. F Browning says:

    Not quite, Peter. A few people (led by peer preference at the time) wrote that after any number of translations and interpretations. A few others then declared it to be the word of the god of their belief (again, at the time) and began to impose that belief on everyone. From those days forward everyone has been playing “My God Can Beat Up Your God”.

    Live and let live, please – and stop discriminating. If you don’t believe in same sex marriage, don’t marry someone of your own sex.

  4. Michele Bettencourt says:

    God created all of us. Gay , Straight . He loves us all. But the point is the law of Separation of Church and State. In the 60’s African Americans and Whites were not allowed to marry.This was discrimination. Now because we love someone our rights as Americans are taken away do to the sex of the ones we are in love with? We pay taxes, Fight for our country. Protect it. We do everything an Upright American Citizen should do. But Yet we are not Allowed to Marry the person we love. Hmmm……. Yes that’s Discrimination

  5. OneWorld says:

    Even if YOUR God disapproves, it is still unconstitutional for the law to discriminate or take aways someone’s rights based solely on biases or religious beliefs. That’s the beauty of our sacred Constitutions. It’s there to protect everyone’s rights in our precious State and Country.

  6. Kathleen McKenna says:

    My twenty year partnership is the same as any marriage that I know. Equal rights for all is finally becoming a reality. God loves us all.

  7. Mike Boone says:

    Walker was born in Watseka, Illinois in 1944, and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1966 and Stanford Law School in 1970.[1] After serving as a law clerk for United States District Court for the Central District of California judge Robert J. Kelleher from 1971 to 1972, he practiced in San Francisco at Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro from 1972 until his September 7, 1989, nomination by President George H. W. Bush to a seat on the federal district court vacated by Spencer M. Williams.[1] Walker was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 21, 1989, on unanimous consent and received commission on November 27, 1989. Walker is one of two federal judges publicly known to be homosexual. NO WONDER IT PASSED THE JUDGE IS A FAG TOO.

    1. Allen says:

      Does the mean if a straight judge ruled, he/she would rule differently? Judges rule on points of law and established evidence in fact. Since the Supreme Court of California saw the issues the same way (I do believe most are straight) before Prop 8, I doubt if Judge Walker’s ruling is biased. I have read his rulings on other cases before and find him to be a fair and thoughtful jurist.
      I applaud his application of constitutional law in this case. The fact you used the word “Fag” gives away your antigay bias. This is precisely why judges have to step in and adjudicate cases like this.

  8. roseman says:

    Marriage is a “civil union”, not a religeous one. Somebody else should not tell you that YOUR choice of a partner is “not good enough for them”.

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