Monumental! U. S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker has denied Yes on 8 proponents their request that he stay his decision which declared that Prop 8 unconstitutional, paving the way for couples to get married. This is an incredibly joyful moment in our history, not only for all of the committed couples who will finally be able to get married, but also because a fundamental constitutional freedom has been restored in our great state. Our victory today is due in no small part to the State of California’s stance on the case. Governor Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown both asked the court to lift the stay and allow marriages to commence. Both have refused to defend Prop. 8 in court, preventing the State’s talented attorneys and vast legal resources from playing a role in this case.
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
“We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the same-sex couples who will again be free to experience the joy and celebration of legally marrying in California. This is a remarkable moment, stemming from the landmark ruling declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional. That decision came down to a simple yet profound principle: People should be treated equally under the law. Lifting the stay puts that principle into practice. We thank the judge for his continuing sense of fairness and sound reasoning in this case.”
“At a time when a majority of the American public believe that same-sex couples should have the legal right to marry, Judge Walker’s decision to lift the stay on marriage for same-sex couples is simply a natural expression of a Constitution that guarantees equality for all Americans,” said Michael Mitchell, Executive Director of the National Stonewall Democrats. “It only seems radical to a shrinking minority of people who are on the wrong side of history.” “As we head into midterm elections, it’s important to remember that in large part, it’s been the Republican party that has used marriage equality as a wedge issue, Republican governors who vetoed marriage equality measures and Republican Members of Congress who pushed for a Constitutional amendment that would forever keep LGBT people as second-class citizens. We, of course, welcome and applaud any elected official of either party who supports marriage equality, but time and again, it’s pro-equality Democrats who are doing the lion’s share of the work that will ultimately result in full marriage equality.”
Faith In America
“We applaud Judge Walker’s responsible handling of the stay regarding Prop 8. Clearly his ruling that Proposition 8 violates Constitutional rights is a landmark opinion and it deserves careful deliberation. No longer will religious-based objections to marriage be a justification for the government to keep the right to marriage away from same-sex couples,² said Mitchell Gold, founder of Faith in America. Judge Walker¹s ruling last week in which he found that banning marriage between same-sex couples was unconstitutional, also acknowledged that religion has been misused to justify harm to gays and lesbians and their families. “We are so happy for the LGBT couples in California who wish to marry the love of their life, just as I was able to do a few short weeks ago in the State of Iowa,” Gold continued. “Same-sex couples deserve the same freedom and rights allowed by the Constitution. Today is another historic day.”
“Although we’re disappointed that Judge Walker elected today to give the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals a chance to consider the issue of the stay, we are gratified that he has denied the request to put his historic ruling on hold during any appeals. He has applied the standard legal tests in the standard way and reached the only logical conclusions given the overwhelming evidence produced at trial: nobody is harmed – especially not the backers of Prop 8 – by restoring equality in marriage to California’s same-sex couples. Nobody suffers when everyone is treated equally. There’s enough equality to go around. “To maintain the stay, the Ninth Circuit will have to find that Prop 8’s proponents are likely to win on appeal or will suffer irreparable harm if same-sex couples again are allowed to marry. But at this point, the truth is crystal clear, as last week’s decision explains: the only people suffering harm are lesbian and gay couples whose constitutional rights are violated every day that Prop 8 remains in force, and who simply seek the same rights everyone else already enjoys.”