A little piece of my dark, jaded heart just came alive again as a federal judge struck down California’s Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California.

As a lawyer, the best part of this is the basis for the judge’s ruling.  Ever since law school, I’ve told everyone who will listen that bans on gay marriage will someday fall due to a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, and the inability of gay marriage bans to pass even “rational basis” scrutiny.

Well, guess what?  Here’s the key passages from the ruling:

Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license.  The state does not have an interest in enforcing private moral or religious beliefs without an accompanying secular purpose. […]

Because Proposition 8 is unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, the court orders entry of judgment permanently enjoining its enforcement; prohibiting the official defendants from applying or enforcing Proposition 8 and directing the official defendants that all persons under their control or supervision shall not apply or enforce Proposition 8

It seems this fucked up country of ours can occasionally still do something just and grand. Kudos to us.

Update: More excellent quotes via Queerty:

  • “Because plaintiffs seek to exercise their fundamental right to marry, their claim is subject to strict scrutiny. Zablocki, 434 US at 388. That the majority of California voters supported Proposition 8 is irrelevant, as ‘fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.'”
  • “The evidence at trial regarding the campaign to pass Proposition 8 uncloaks the most likely explanation for its passage: a desire to advance the belief that opposite-sex couples are morally superior to same-sex couples.”
  • “Proposition 8 cannot withstand any level of scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause, as excluding same-sex couples from marriage is simply not rationally related to a legitimate state interest. One example of a legitimate state interest in not issuing marriage licenses to a particular group might be a scarcity of marriage licenses or county officials to issue them. But marriage licenses in California are not a limited commodity, and the existence of 18,000 same-sex married couples in California shows that the state has the resources to allow both same-sex and opposite-sex couples to wed.
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  1. Rupert Psmith says:

    A very exciting day. I'm buoyed in particular by the quote you posted: "fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections." Damn right! Now here's hoping the Roberts court doesn't muck it all up next session.

    • Metavirus says:

      amen to that. i read through the whole opinion and it really is a tour de force. only the most rabidly ideological SCOTUS Justice would be able to brush aside the truly amazing legal and factual conclusions.

  2. TehHawt says:

    This fucking RULES!

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