San Francisco, Calif., Aug 4, 2010 / 14:21 pm America/Denver (CNA).
A California federal judge issued a ruling this afternoon striking down Proposition 8, which defined marriage as between man and one woman. The judge ruled that the measure violated the rights of same-sex couples.
In a landmark case that is expected to reach the Supreme Court, U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker ruled on Aug. 4 that Prop. 8 – an initiative which passed in Nov. of 2008 with the support of 7 million Californians – both “unconstitutionally burdens the exercise of the fundamental right to marry and creates an irrational classification on the basis of sexual orientation.”
Judge Walker concluded that Prop. 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,” he added. “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.”
The American Civil Liberties Union and Equality California, joined by the first lesbian couple to contract a legal same-sex “marriage” in California, filed a lawsuit immediately after the election to try and overturn the measure.