Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Urban Beat: California Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Ruled Unconstitutional

Federal Appeals Court Rules California's Ban on Same-Sex Marriage is Unconstitutional 

A federal appeals court on Tuesday declared California's same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional, putting the bitterly contested, voter-approved law on track for likely consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that a lower court judge correctly interpreted the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedents when he declared in 2010 that Proposition 8 was a violation of the civil rights of gays and lesbians.

It was unclear when gay marriages might resume in California. Lawyers for Proposition 8 sponsors and for the two couples who successfully sued to overturn the ban have repeatedly said they would consider appealing to a larger panel of the court and then the U.S. Supreme Court if they did not receive a favorable ruling from the 9th Circuit.

"Although the Constitution permits communities to enact most laws they believe to be desirable, it requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently. There was no such reason that Proposition 8 could have been enacted," the ruling states.
The panel also said there was no evidence that former Chief U.S. Judge Vaughn Walker was biased and should have disclosed before he issued his decision that he was gay and in a long-term relationship with another man.

Essentially, there is no legitimate reason for the State of California to deny same-sex couples the right to marry.

Ladies and Gentleman it looks like we are headed to the United States Supreme Court.

Sound off......

Will today's Federal Appeals Court decision be appealled this to the United States Supreme Court?
If appealed, will the US Supreme Court elect to hear this case and rule on it?
What do you think the final ruling will look like and could that ruling set either side of this debate back?
What would a Supreme Court ruling against same-sex marriage mean for the rights and issues of equality for all Americans?

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