Same-sex couples one step closer to marriage
Here comes equality — a decision by a three-judge panel on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has brought same-sex couples in California one step closer to tying the knot and marriage equality in the US one step closer to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The court’s 2-1 decision yesterday overturned Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot innitiative that declared same-sex marriage illegal in the Golden State.
In 2010, Jude Vaughn R. Walker, the chief judge of the Federal District Court of the Northern District of California, overturned Prop. 8 on the grounds that it violated the equal protection rights of same-sex couples.
Tuesday’s decision did not take so strong of a stand, but it should be applauded nonetheless.
The two judges in favor of the overturn of Prop. 8 based their decision on the fact that the measure violated the 14th Amendment of the Constitution becasue it discriminates against a specific group of people.
“Proposition 8 serves no purpose and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples,” Judge Stephen R. Reinhardt wrote in the majority opinion.
“The Constitution simply does not allow for ‘laws of this sort’.”
Reinhardt and Judge Michael Hawkins should be applauded for such fair interpretation of the Constitution. There is no legitimate reason for same-sex couples to receive disparate treatment when it comes to marriage equality.
With an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court likely, it will still be some time before the right to marry is restored to gay Californians.
However, it is encouraging that both courts ruled in favor of marriage equality. The Daily Cougar hopes this trend continues all of the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.