Proposition 8 Thrown Out

Proposition 8, a voter-passed initiative banning same-sex marriage in California, has been thrown out on Wednesday, with the presiding judge calling the prohibition violative of the federal constitution.

U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker said in his decision that banning same-sex marriage on the basis of moral disapproval alone would encroach on the federal rights of people, regardless of sexual orientation, to equal protection and due process. Walker said the state of California “has no interest in differentiating between same-sex and opposite-sex unions.”

Despite the initial setback, backers of the ban believe that a higher court will see the issue in a different light. Andy Pugno, a lawyer for the supporters of Proposition 8, said that the “invalidation of the votes of over 7 million Californians violates binding legal precedent and short-circuits the democratic process.”

In blocking the ban, Walker said in his analysis that, based on the evidence presented during the trial, there is no proof that children raised by homosexual couples are put in a disadvantageous situation. Walker also found Proposition 8 as based mostly on fear of homosexuality, an argument that could be difficult to overturn when the battle reaches the Supreme Court.

However, California Catholic Conference executive director Edward E. (Ned) Dolejsi said that Walker’s line of thinking that laws should not be based on moral views was “hard to even comprehend.” “All public law and public policy is developed from some moral perspective, the morality that society judges is important,” he said.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.