Prop. 8: California's gay marriage ban ruled unconstitutional

prop-8-feb-7-getty.jpgA federal appeals court Tuesday (Feb. 7) overturned California's Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that limited marriage to one man and one woman. It is expected that this finding could clear the way for a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage as early as next year.

San Francisco's 9th Circuit Court of Appeals says in a 2-1 decision, "Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California."

"Although the Constitution permits communities to enact most laws they believe to be desirable, it requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently. There was no such reason that Proposition 8 could have been enacted," the ruling states.

The court's finding upheld a 2010 decision by former Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker who struck down the ballot's results. It is unclear when same-sex marriages will resume in California.

Prop. 8 passed in California in Nov. 2008 with 52 percent of the vote. This came just five months after the state's Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage.

The backers of Prop 8, ProtectMarriage, can, and certainly will, appeal the decision directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

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