A 3-judge panel on Tuesday ruled
Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban, is unconstitutional.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
handed down its long-awaited decision to the cheers of gay marriage
supporters. However, supporters of Proposition 8 will most likely
appeal the decision to the United States Supreme Court. That means
another lengthy wait for engaged gay and lesbian couples in
The court upheld now-retired U.S.
District Judge Vaughn R. Walker's 2010 ruling which said Proposition
8 violates the constitutional rights of gay couples who wish to
“Because Proposition 8 prevents
California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide
marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8
is unconstitutional,” Walker wrote.
Co-counsel David Boies had previously
described Walker's 138-page ruling as “difficult to overturn on
appeal,” because an appeals court must weigh its decision on the
trial court's factual findings.
Walker heard 13 days of testimony
during a January trial held in a San Francisco courtroom and
concluded that “[T]he evidence shows that, by every available
metric, opposite-sex couples are no better than their same-sex
counterparts; instead, as partners, parents and citizen, opposite-sex
couples and same-sex couples are equal.”
California voters approved the measure
by a narrow margin on November 4, 2008. The law put an end to the
weddings of gay couples taking place in the state after the
California Supreme Court legalized the institution.
of marriage equality have planned events and rallies across