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Northern District Judge Walker's Prop. 8 Verdict


Posted: 8/5/10

Prop. 8 Verdict

On 8/4/10 Judge Vaughn Walker, a homosexual, the Chief Justice for the Northern District of California ruled that California Constitutional Amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman is null and void.  

On what Basis?

"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"

"Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians,"

––Northern District Chief Justice Judge Vaughn Walker in his 138 page ruling that can be viewed in this pdf.

This means that Judge Vaughn Walker used the animus argument [ref] stating that the people who supported prop. 8 did so out of ill will to homosexuals, which is a pretty bold assertion.  To back up his position he referenced Loving v. Virginia where marriage limitations based on race were abolished by stating that people have a fundamental right to choose who they may marry.  

"Race restrictions on marital partners were once common in most states but are now seen as archaic, shameful or even bizarre.  FF 23–25. When the Supreme Court invalidated race restrictions in Loving, the definition of the right to marry did not change."

Referencing same sex marriage he says:

"Rather, the exclusion exists as an artifact of a time when the genders were seen as having distinct roles in society and in marriage. That time has passed."

The time for gender roles in marriage has passed?

For more Judge Vaughn Walker quotes go here: ref

He also states that this amendment violates the 14th amendment's due process and equal protection clauses.  He makes the assumption that homosexuals have somehow been denied the right to marry.  Homosexuals have always and still are allowed to marry.  What homosexuals want is not marriage.  Demanding the right to marry my computer or dog is not the same thing as demanding the right to marry another human of the opposite sex.  No, this is about redefining the word marriage.  As far as Due Process goes, I don't understand his rationale here or how due process works.  As far as I can tell it just gives the courts the ability to strike down any law that they do not like using the nebulous term due process.

Possible Appeals Process

If this ruling is not appealed by Friday (as opposed to October, which was moved up a lot by Judge Walker upon request) same sex marriages will once again become legal.  ref

The appeals process would be to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has no choice, but to hear the case, where a panel of 3 Ninth Circuit Judges will be chosen at random out of the 29 seats, one of which is currently vacant.  After that the U.S. Supreme Court can decide whether or not to hear it.  While this case could be expedited it is still likely to take 2 – 3 years before it reaches the U.S. Supreme Court.  It is likely that things will be very slow going with the Ninth Circuit court of Appeals, because this court is the largest in the U.S. and covers nine states including the heavily populated California.  The real question is whether the stay will remain in place until it reaches the Ninth Circuit and what will happen in the other states regarding same sex marriage until then and due to Judge Vaughn Walker's decision. ref

This has all happened before in 2005

In a similar case, Nebraska in Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning dealt with this very same issue where a strong constitutional amendment affirming the marriage is between one man and one woman was struck down by a federal judge.  This case did indeed get appealed to the 8th Circuit Court where they stated the arguments, which are identical to Vaughn Walker's, were absurd.  Chief Judge James Loken of the 8th Circuit court wrote:

"the political harm to appellees' members is not punishment in the functional sense because it serves the nonpunitive purpose of steering heterosexual procreation into marriage, a purpose that negates any suspicion that the supporters of [the amendment] were motivated solely by a desire to punish disadvantaged groups.  While voting rights and apportionment cases establish the fundamental right to access the political process, it is not an absolute right.  In a multi–tiered democracy, it is inevitable that interest groups will strive to make it more difficult for competing interest groups to achieve contrary legislative objectives."

–– Chief Judge James Loken of the 8th Circuit pdf P. 12

see also: 4/14/09

What surprises me is that no one seems to remember this recent case and news items continually say that with California this is the first time that a judge struck down a constitutional amendment.  This has happened several times.  

At least Maggie Gallagher remembers.

This apparently all happend in 1972 as well in Baker v. Nelson.

Opinion

All of this is a good thing.  Even if The U.S. Supreme Court decides that same sex marriage should be legalized the position of same sex marriage advocates is being made abundantly clear.  I hope it becomes clearer still, so that there is no doubt what these advocates are endorsing and what they stand for.  They continually threaten supporters of traditional marriage with kidnapping children, rape, etc. and are quite hostile to anyone that does not support them.  There is no neutral ground here.  If their position is made clear and the public still clamor for what they have to offer then they deserve the painful consequences that will come.

Legalization will necessarily lead to the legalization of polygamy, incest, and an elimination of the age of consent.  This is a certainty.  It is boring to even debate this.  Just look at the other countries and states where same sex has been legal for some time like Canada or Massachusetts.

By stating that the amendment was based on animus and that this means that

"Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians"

people who vote out of moral conviction, like Christians, may not vote their conscience.  heh, Christian votes don't count.  Seriously, how obviously anti–Christian can you get?

In essence nothing new has occurred yet from this decision in the debate on same sex marriage.  For something new to happen the U.S. Supreme Court would have to get involved.  Something similar has already occurred in Nebraska.

Thus far the rationale for overturning a Constitutional Amendment affirming traditional marriage is that it was improperly presented to voters, it violates section 1 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits laws from being made that discriminates against a particular disadvantaged unchangeable group.

Even so, I'll watch and see what happens next and we should keep this case in our prayers.

Last Updated: 9/5/14

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