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California's Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage overturned in federal court

Proposition 8 Overturned

Proposition 8 has been overturned by California federal district judge Vaughn Walker in a long, 130-page decision. Proposition 8 was enacted in California two years ago by popular vote, defining marriage as specifically being between one man and one woman. The new law was immediately challenged by two same-sex couples in federal court. It marks the the first time a federal judge has ruled on the constitutionality of same sex marriage bans.

Ruling that the California law violates equal protection under the U.S. Constitution’s 14th amendment, the district judge has moved this test case a step closer to possible eventual consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court. 

The case will likely go to appeal, and the coalition of religious and conservative groups had yesterday filed a brief asking Walker to stay the decision should he rule to overturn Prop 8. They argued that if decision is ultimately overturned ceremonies performed during this time would be invalidated, according to the group. However, Walker agreed to the stay for only a few days while the issue is studied.

In his ruling, Walker asserted that Proposition 8 enshrines within California’s state constitution the superiority of heterosexual couples over same-sex couples. This would violate the equal protection guarantees under the U.S. Constitution’s 14th amendment.

About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (blogcritics.org). Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel, called "Anne Rice meets Michael Crichton," The Apothecary's Curse The Apothecary's Curse is now out from Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books.Her book on the TV series House, M.D., Chasing Zebras is a quintessential guide to the themes, characters and episodes of the hit show. Barnett is an accomplished speaker, an annual favorite at MENSA's HalloWEEM convention, where she has spoken to standing room crowds on subjects as diverse as "The Byronic Hero in Pop Culture," "The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes," "The Hidden History of Science Fiction," and "Our Passion for Disaster (Movies)."

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