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Wednesday, August 4

A Rainbow of Whoopass

A while back, California abruptly legalized marriage between people of the same gender, and 18,000 couples immediately started shoveling money into the state economy (marriage license fees, catering, gifts and so on).

Naturally, this didn't sit well with Certain People, who put forward a ballot initiative called Proposition 8. Prop. 8 basically forced a change to the California Constitution, making it illegal for same-gender couples to wed. Thanks to a tsunami of money and ads from interested groups (like the Mormons), Prop. 8 passed.

Well, the proposition was challenged in Federal Court, the plaintiff's argument being that the law violated their Equal Protection rights under the 14th Amendment (yes, that 14th Amendment) and therefore violated their civil rights under 42 USC 1983.

Today the judge in the case handed down a ruling, which you can read in its entirety here. It's 138 pages long, so I'll simply give you the money shot:

"Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and 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."

Now, this fight isn't over, and I expect it to go all the way forward to the US Supreme Court. On its face, the Court's argument is compelling, and I can't wait for someone to challenge the Federal Defense of Marriage Act under the Commerce Clause, the Full Faith and Credit Clause, and the Supreme Court decision of Loving v. Virginia.

And I can hear heads exploding, which is always fun to hear.

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