Breaking: Proposition 8 stay to be lifted; same-sex couples can marry in California Aug. 18
on August 12, 2010
United States District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker has ruled that he will lift the stay on his ruling overturning Proposition 8, allowing same-sex couples to marry in California starting at 5 pm on August 18.
The proposition’s supporters are still planning to appeal Walker’s overturn of Proposition 8 to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
California’s State Supreme Court briefly legalized same-sex marriage in 2008; in the following six months, about 18,000 couples married, before voters approved Proposition 8 that November with 52 percent of the vote. Proposition 8 added a provision to the state constitution stating that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” Two same-sex couples sued soon thereafter, arguing that the amendment violated their right to equal protection under the law. Closing arguments in the subsequent court case, Perry vs. Schwarzenneger, were completed this June before Judge Walker.
The 18,000 marriages held during the six months before the passage of Proposition 8 are considered valid by the state, but other same-sex couples have been barred from marrying since then. Walker ruled to overturn Proposition 8 on August 4, but also issued a stay preventing same-sex marriages from taking place immediately. Today’s ruling states that the temporary stay will be lifted on August 18. You can read the full PDF text of the ruling here.
The gubernatorial campaign for Jerry Brown, currently California Attorney General and former Oakland mayor, who famously refused to defend Proposition 8 in 2008, this afternoon Tweeted the following message and quote: “A step in the right direction. ‘Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it.’ -Frances Wright”
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The importance of this ruling is that personal choice should not be banned, especially for those choices which do not harm the wider social order Any law which attempts to legislate morality needs to be reviewed and questioned, otherwise freedom is in danger of being repressed.