The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday to uphold gay marriage in California. The court dubbed Proposition 8, a ban on same-sex marriage, unconstitutional. The court’s decision rectifies the wrong done on Nov. 4, 2008 when voters passed Prop 8, restricting the right to equal protection for American citizens.
“Prop 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,” the majority opinion, written by Judge Stephen Reinhardt, stated.
Although the ruling does not apply to every state and does not touch on the broader question of whether gay and lesbian couples may ever be denied the right to be married, it is still a great step forward for both our state and the rest of the country. This decision puts marriage rights in the national spotlight, as states like New Jersey, Minnesota and Washington also will deal with rulings on same-sex marriage this year.
Proponents of Prop 8 have 90 days to challenge the ruling and can either bring their case to the U.S. Supreme Court or first ask for a larger court of appeals panel to do a review.
Even though other states such as Massachusetts, New York and Iowa already have laws allowing same-sex marriage, the review of Prop 8 could be important for establishing a federal precedent if it goes to the Supreme Court. California can now serve as an example of what the future of the country should look like.