California Judge Says Gays Have Right to Marry
He declares Proposition 8 unconstitutional
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2010 4:12 PM CDT
Ernesto Rodriguez Larrese, left, and Alejandro Vanelli hold hands after getting married in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, July 30, 2010.   (AP Photo/ Natacha Pisarenko)

(Newser) – In a big victory for gay rights, a federal judge in California has ruled that homosexuals have a constitutional right to marry. The judge struck down Proposition 8, a ballot measure that banned gay marriage in 2008. The decision is expected to be quickly appealed to the 9th Circuit Court and then to the Supreme Court, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Prop 8 "fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license," wrote Judge Vaughn R. Walker. "Indeed, 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." Because it "prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.”