Proposition 8 Struck Down On Appeal

California’s controversial Proposition 8 was deemed unconstitutional today by a federal appeals panel. The three judges voted two-to-one, upholding a previous ruling that the state’s amendment violated the Equal Protection Clause. The decision is a clear victory for gay rights advocates, but it’s far from the end of the fight.

Like most wars for equality, the battle for gay rights has been a slow and arduous process. Fundamental gains including the ability to serve in the military openly have been won, but the ability to marry still remains elusive, as evidenced by the specifics of the ruling. According to The Washington Post, the appeals court didn’t rule on the matter of gay marriage as a whole, the judges simply ruled California’s Proposition 8 was unconstitutional because it took away a right that was already given without sound reason. Here’s an excerpt, as written by Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt…

”By using their initiative power to target a minority group and withdraw a right that it possessed, without a legitimate reason for doing so, the people of California violated the Equal Protection Clause”

The losing side has already vowed to fight on, but it remains unclear exactly who that fight might go to next. An appeal can be made to the 9th Circuit Appeals Court, or it can be made directly to the Supreme Court. Because of the specifics of the ruling, it’s entirely possible, and perhaps likely, that if the Supreme Court does decide to hear the case, the justices may limit their decision to Proposition 8 and not gay marriage as a whole.

Regardless of the outcome, today’s ruling was going to get appealed, but that doesn’t mean those in favor of equality shouldn’t take pride in today’s victory. Recent polls have shown Americans under the age of twenty-five are solidly in favor of gay marriage. If that trend continues, gay marriage will be legal at some point, but many of us would still like to see that happen sooner rather than later.

Mack Rawden
Editor In Chief

Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.