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BREAKING: Court Rules In Favor Of Marriage Equality, Upholds Prop 8 Overturn

As it announced it would yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court has just issued its ruling in Perry v. Brown, marriage-equality foes’ appeal of Judge Vaughn Walker’s original verdict in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, which overturned California’s odious Proposition 8.

And the verdict is: guilty!

No, we kid. The court upheld Walker’s ruling in a 2-to-1 decision! It said, in part:

The defense fails on its merits. The People may not employ the initiative power to single out a disfavored group for unequal treatment, and strip them, without legitimate justification, of a right as important as the right to marry. Accordingly we affirm the ruling of the district court.

The Ninth Court also dismissed Prop 8 defenders’ claims that Judge Walker should have recused himself from the case because he is gay.

But the fight is far from over: With anti-marriage forces promising to appeal, the case now moves one step closer to the Supreme Court, where it could be ruled on “as early as next year.” predicts the L.A. Times.

Community rallies have been planned to celebrate the verdict in San Francisco’s Castro District, as well as in San Diego, Sacramento, L.A. and other California cities. Had things gone the other way, they probably would’ve still had the rallies—only, y’know, without the cake and balloons.

Congrats California!

Photos: Angela N.

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Feb 7, 2012
Tagged: , , , , ,

  • 47 Comments
    • Charlie
      Charlie

      Woohoo! That’s all I have to add

      Feb 7, 2012 at 1:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danny
      Danny

      Wonderful news!

      Not to put a damper on the celebration, but what scares me is that it was a 2-1 decision. Meaning the conservative judge voted that it was perfectly acceptable and constitutional to deny us our rights. What is the current makeup of the SCOTUS again?

      Feb 7, 2012 at 1:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Interesting
      Interesting

      What was the level of scrutiny? This willb e important in other gay rights issues like employment and housing if the scrutiny is not above rational basis.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Isaac C
      Isaac C

      This should definitely be included as part of black history month, too. There should be a shoutout section to California’s black community that voted overwhelmingly for Prop 8, criticizing them and their bigotry.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tookietookie
      tookietookie

      Ha ha suck it bigots!

      Feb 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Phantom
      Phantom

      Not celebrating yet until gays can marry in California. It’s still unsure what will happen next.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 1:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Isaac C
      Isaac C [Different person #1 using similar name]

      This should definitely be included as part of black history month, too. There should be a shoutout section to California’s black community that voted overwhelmingly for Prop 8, criticizing them and their bigotry.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 1:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stefan
      Stefan

      @Danny:

      There is a VERY reliable 5/4 split when it comes to gay rights.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 6 · Isaac C wrote, “This should definitely be included as part of black history month, too. There should be a shoutout section to California’s black community that voted overwhelmingly for Prop 8, criticizing them and their bigotry.”

      A statistical analysis showed that race was not a factor but religion was. The higher Black vote in favor of Proposition Eight simply reflected a higher percentage of Blacks going to church. Also, the early reports of a very high Black vote in favor of Proposition Eight produced numbers that were too high, an artifact of how the estimate was made.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 1:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Isaac C
      Isaac C [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @B: I know, but no matter what analysis is used, the results are still the same, if only adjusted for more accuracy. It is very much a racial issue regardless of religion or any other factor. There’s a principle involved.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 2:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert in NYC
      Robert in NYC

      @Danny: There are at least 5 very conservative anti-marriage equality catholic judges who could rule in favor of the proponents of Prop. 8 on the Supreme Court.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 2:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tallent
      Tallent

      @Isaac C: You should remember that the current preident of the NAACP has come out in favor of gay marriage and transgender rights. Look at the make up of such groups as NOM. White white and more whites. Everyone is as guilty as the next. It’s taken a black president to overcome dadt and (hopefully) doma. On behalf of black ppl everywhere: you’re welcome.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 2:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      One thing that QUEERTY’s summary didn’t mention: the court ruled 3 to 0 that Judge Walker did not need to recuse himself and that the “Yes on Eight” side had a right to appeal.

      Also, an NPR discussion (heard over the radio – haven’t had time to actually look at the ruling itself) claimed that the ruling was more narrow than Judge Walker’s ruling. That makes the current ruling less applicable nationwide, but more likely to be upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 2:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Ehrenstein
      David Ehrenstein

      The Supremes will not take up Prop 8 — thus lettign the ruling stand for California alone.

      The wind, however, is at our backs. Same-Sex marriage is being instituted in more states than ever before, and Obama has announced he has no interest in defending DOMA. As soon as DOMA is repealed it will be smooth sailing.

      Meanwhil NOH and David can make honest boyfriends of each other. Their kids will lOVE the wedding.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 2:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      @B: Obviously they would have had to rule in that way. If they ruled that he should have recused himself, by their logic, a heterosexual, etc. (married or not) would have been in the same position; especially since, according to the other side his or her “marriage/potential marrigage would be threatened”

      Feb 7, 2012 at 2:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joetx
      Joetx

      Is anyone else absolutely sick of Isaac C’s racism against black people?

      Gay racists are just as bad as minority homophobes.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tallent
      Tallent

      @Isaac C: Are u a fucking moron? The NAACP has worked closely with gay rights group across the country as well as spearheading efforts to end gender identity discrimination in several major us cities. As I said, EVERYONE is as guilty as the rest. It’s impossible to pin any setback on any one group like u are attempting to do. If you’d like we can list all the whites who have proved invaluable to the anti gay rights movement….like every president before Obama. You have just as many blacks to thank as you do whites for the progress that has been made today.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 2:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      That 2-1 is scary. Wonder who the judge was who voted against Walker’s ruling, and what his justification was?

      Religion, most likely. Again.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • pierre
      pierre

      Heads are exploding over at the Fox News website! Ha Ha!!

      Feb 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Isaac C
      Isaac C [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Tallent: You’re not telling me anything I don’t already know.

      “You have just as many blacks to thank as you do whites for the progress that has been made today.”

      COMPLETE bullshit.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 3:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danny
      Danny

      @Shannon1981: as you can probably guess, the conservative (Mormon) judge that was appointed by Bush was the dissenter. I’m not sure what his justifcation was yet – I’m sure it’ll be old fashioned thinking of some sort. Whatever helps him sleep at night, I suppose.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 3:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Danny: Figures. I’ll be very interested to see what the make up of the higher court is, though. That is why it scares me- it would only take a couple of bigots to make the ban stand.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 3:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • christopher di spirito
      christopher di spirito

      A wonderful, joyous and unexpected ruling.

      However, I remain very concerned that the activist U.S. Supreme Court led by the likes of Scalia, Thomas, and Roberts (if you don’t think they’re an activist bench of banana Republicans in black robes then please recall 2000 and Gore v. Bush), could insert their far-right, religious beliefs and reverse the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision.

      Make no mistake, the U.S. Supreme Court is no friend to the LGBT community. In fact, they are quite hostile to us.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 3:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Riker
      Riker

      @christopher di spirito: I don’t think they’ll grant certiorari. Though if they do, I also don’t think it will be as bad as you do. I’ve been following the current Court closely, and i’ve seen Roberts and even Alito make some decisions that you wouldn’t expect a conservative Christian to make. Chief Justice Roberts in particular seems fair-minded.

      The thing about SCOTUS is that you don’t have to appeal to the voters. They are never up for reelection, and never have to toss red meat to the party’s base. They are free to decide a case on the legal and constitutional merits. Also, Bush v. Gore isn’t really applicable anymore. Four of the nine Justices who sit on the Court now weren’t there in 2000 (Roberts, Alito, Sotomayor, Kagan).

      Feb 7, 2012 at 4:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charlie
      Charlie

      @Isaac C: This again Isaac? Shouldn’t be lighting a cross on fire on someone’s lawn right now?

      Feb 7, 2012 at 4:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Riker
      Riker

      @Charlie: Don’t feed the Parasprites. You’ll only make them multiply.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 5:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WindyCityBro
      WindyCityBro

      @Isaac C and all the ‘Blame the Blacks for Prop 8′

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/11/07/656272/-Facts-Belie-the-Scapegoating-of-Black-People-for-Proposition-8

      Feb 7, 2012 at 5:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike UK
      Mike UK

      don’t give him the air to feed his fire! the guy has serious issues with anything to do with race! he’s also thought to use several other sign on names! basically just ignore him!

      Feb 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • divkid
      divkid

      @Isaac C: on behalf of everyone everywhere who don’t want to you to speak on their behalf — *you’re* welcome … to fuck right right off and die. rascist scum.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 5:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • divkid
      divkid

      @divkid: bitch made me mangle my words — even more reason for you to die. metaphorically, of course. hmmm.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 5:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      @Danny: The grounds for dissent were that “rational basis” is such a low bar that anything anyone *might possibly* think related (in this case, encouraging straight couples to marry and kids to be raised by both biological parents) counts, even if the measure does not have that effect.

      So, based in stronger deference to legislative power, not religious belief.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 5:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Spike
      Spike

      HA HA HA, all those idiot members of the mormon Taliban and the money they contributed to support Prop 8 and the result, christians don’t trust them or Mitt Romney any more then before and now Prop 8 is that much closer to a Supreme Court ruling which will make it a Federal law. They should have just left it alone!

      Feb 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 15 · Steve wrote, “@B: Obviously they would have had to rule in that way. If they ruled that he should have recused himself, by their logic, a heterosexual, etc. (married or not) would have been in the same position; especially since, according to the other side his or her “marriage/potential marrigage would be threatened””

      Hey Steve, the rules about recusing oneself are not dependent on the hallucinations of one side in a squabble. If Judge Walker had a very wealthy and eccentric relative whose will stated that Judge Walker would inherit $20 million if Walker got married before his (current age + 1) birthday, that would constitute a situation in which Judge Walker would be expected to recuse himself. I presume (with no surprise on my part) that Judge Walker does not have such a relative. Buster Keaton did, however, in his film Seven Chances (and when you see the scene with an army of women chasing him, you’ll think “Thank [insert deity of your choice] that I’m gay”).

      Feb 7, 2012 at 6:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JayKay
      JayKay

      @Tallent:

      “You have just as many blacks to thank as you do whites for the progress that has been made today.”

      Ah ha ha ha…No.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 6:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Riker
      Riker

      @Spike: Unfortunately, that may not be the case. Even if SCOTUS does uphold the ruling, the Court of Appeals applied the ruling only to cases where marriage rights were granted and then removed by ballot initiative. Rather than applying to the entire 9th circuit, it only applies to California. SCOTUS has the option of striking down all anti-marriage laws in the nation, but they will more likely choose to limit it to this particular case. However, it would mean that all the states with equality currently would be forced to keep it.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 7:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 35 · Riker wrote, “@Spike: Unfortunately, that may not be the case. Even if SCOTUS does uphold the ruling, the Court of Appeals applied the ruling only to cases where marriage rights were granted and then removed by ballot initiative. Rather than applying to the entire 9th circuit, it only applies to California.”

      It’s a bit of a fine point, but the ruling most likely applies to the entire 9th circuit. It is just that the circumstances under which the ruling does anything are currently unique to California.

      I.e., if another state in this jurisdiction had its supreme court legalize same-sex marriages and then had an initiative with the same wording as Proposition Eight pass, the ruling would apply to that initiative as well.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 7:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Riker
      Riker

      @B: That’s what I meant to say, just haven’t had my coffee yet today :P

      The wording probably wouldn’t have to be identical, but moreso the circumstances: If they did uphold the ruling and keep it narrowly defined, it would thwart repeal efforts in Iowa and New Hampshire.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 9:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 9 · Isaac C wrote, “@B: I know, but no matter what analysis is used, the results are still the same, if only adjusted for more accuracy. It is very much a racial issue regardless of religion or any other factor. There’s a principle involved.”

      The “principle involved” should be whether one knows what one is talking about or not!

      The statistics really are important – if we end up having to repeal Proposition Eight via a ballot measure (e.g., if a higher court rules against us), those statistics are critical. It suggests, for example, that one might try some “outreach” to conservative preachers, not to change their minds about “sin”, but to convince them that they would not be forced to perform same-sex marriages (something stated in the California Supreme Court’s ruling allowing same-sex marriages). That might reduce the extent to which they preach to their congregations about it, which makes it easier for our side to influence their vote.

      Usually ballot measures are decided by the golden rule: “He who has the gold makes the rules.” The results are heavily influenced by advertising. If you want to stop the Mormon and Catholic church’s deep pockets, you better use your funding optimally.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 9:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • macmantoo
      macmantoo

      Not celebrating until ALL GAYS in the US can marry. I guess we have to do it one state at a time.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 10:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon
      Jon

      I hope it doesn’t go to the Supreme court. The current make-up of the court is perhaps the most conservative it has ever been.

      Feb 7, 2012 at 10:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tjr101
      tjr101

      This is all the more reason Barack Obama needs to be reelected, the last thing this community needs is a bigot Republican for president stacking the Supreme Court with more conservatives.

      Feb 8, 2012 at 12:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kendoll
      kendoll

      Didn’t Mormons spend 10s of millions in Cali to get this passed? CA—CHINGGGGGGG!!!!

      Feb 8, 2012 at 12:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CJ
      CJ

      @Jon:

      This is the most conservative the court has ever been? I think you need to rewind to when Sandra Day O’Conner (who voted both ways like Kennedy) was replaced by someone who is a solid conservative.

      Feb 8, 2012 at 2:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeff4justice
      jeff4justice

      Check out this vid of LGBTs in my hometown reacting:

      Marriage Equality Rally In Marysville After Prop. 8 Is Ruled Unconstitutional

      Feb 8, 2012 at 7:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • joedee1969
      joedee1969

      Our favorite bear hit this one out of the park. I’m putting this one on Facebook!

      http://americaspeaksink.com/2012/02/the-u-s-court-of-appeals-stop-baby-boomers-in-their-tracks-on-gay-marriage/comment-page-1/#comment-49597

      Feb 8, 2012 at 8:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dsp
      dsp

      I was watching Look who’s coming for dinner over the weekend and could not get out of my head the Spencer Tracy speech at the end. The movie is of a black man wanting to marry a white woman. I could see this movie remaid but as a man wanting to marry a man. here is the speech and just changed the wording a tad to make it more of a same sex couple. Very powerful:

      Now Mr. Prentice, clearly a most reasonable man, says he has no wish to offend me but wants to know if I’m some kind of a *nut*.

      And Mrs. Prentice says that like her husband I’m a burned-out old shell of a man who cannot even remember what it’s like to love a woman the way her son loves my son.

      And strange as it seems, that’s the first statement made to me all day with which I am prepared to take issue… cause I think you’re wrong, you’re as wrong as you can be.

      I admit that I hadn’t considered it, hadn’t even thought about it, but I know exactly how he feels about him and there is nothing, absolutely nothing that your son feels for my son that I didn’t feel for Christina (his wife).

      Old-yes. Burned-out- certainly, but I can tell you the memories are still there- clear, intact, indestructible, and they’ll be there if I live to be 110.

      Where John (the Prentice’s son) made his mistake (the mistake was saying he would not go through with the marriage if he didn’t get approval) I think was in attaching so much importance to what his mother and I might think… because in the final analysis it doesn’t matter a damn what we think.

      The only thing that matters is what they feel, and how much they feel, for each other. And if it’s half of what we felt- that’s everything.

      As for you two and the problems you’re going to have, they seem almost unimaginable, but you’ll have no problem with me, and I think when Christina (his wife) and I and your mother (Mrs Prentice) have some time to work on him (Mr Prentice) you’ll have no problem with your father, John.

      But you do know, I’m sure you know, what you’re up against. There’ll be 200 million people right here in this country who will be shocked and offended and appalled and the two of you will just have to ride that out, maybe every day for the rest of your lives.

      You could try to ignore those people, or you could feel sorry for them and for their prejudice and their bigotry and their blind hatred and stupid fears, but where necessary you’ll just have to cling tight to each other and say “screw all those people”!

      Anybody could make a case against your getting married. The arguments are so obviously homophobic and biggoted that nobody has to make them.

      But you’re two wonderful people who happened to fall in love and happened to be of the same sex.

      I think that now, no matter what kind of a case some bastard could make against your getting married, there would be only one thing worse, and that would be if – knowing what you two are and knowing what you two have and knowing what you two feel- you didn’t get married.

      Well, Tillie (the maid), when the hell are we gonna get some dinner?

      Feb 8, 2012 at 4:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Publius
      Publius

      This is not a surprise. Contrary to popular belief, courts generally reflect the opinions of the majority – since 2010 most Californian’s already supported gay marriage (1% shift toward gay marriage each year after 2008). Likewise, the judges who handed down the verdict were, how shall we say, more “novel” in their arguments and interpretations of precedents cited (note: no other court has found that banning gay marriage violates the Federal Constitution, so they argued these facts are California specific). So we have to see what the other judges on appeal think.

      Prop 8 was not kicked in the nuts – kicked in the nuts would mean the Supreme Court upholds the decision (and it would mean other judges who are not as far left as Stephen Reinhardt uphold it too). This won’t happen – the reality is voters will vote for gay marriage this November, given 1) the polls show gay marriage is in the majority and b) the reason they voted Prop 8 had nothing to do with gay marriage, but the WAY gay marriage was introduced i.e. via judicial fiat. I for one don’t think gays are tepid, stupid, hopeless, weak and so unpopular and UNCOOL we need judicial intervention to help our cause. Nor do I support “if it feels good” evaluations in judicial rulings

      This litigation is a total waste of money, better spent trying to persuade 2.6% of the population to change their mind. Talk to one another. Stop suing one another. Netherlands, a diverse, somewhat mildly religious yet liberal society was the first place to introduce gay marriage. It has no judicial review whatsoever (yes, I support abolishing judicial review – I believe we should all do it like the suffragists, or civil rights activists who took to the streets and campaign – Brown never helped gays – the US is still deeply segregated).

      I suspect California to legalize it this year (2012), Maine (2012) and Colorado somewhat later (2014). Personally, I’d support an amendment to the Californian constitution which simply says regions/districts which vote No to a nationwide initiative should not be bound by the result. That way San Fran could issue as many licenses as it wants. That way we can empirically measure which lifestyle choices lead to better outcomes, possibly vetoing stereotypes in the process (and dealing with any “right” conflicts – each side in this debate thinks they are on the side of rights). That way one can easily vote with their feet, in the same state.

      Feb 9, 2012 at 7:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Publius
      Publius

      @Jon: It won’t. Voters will approve it later in the year if it’s on the ballot (it will be in Maine too). It will be rendered mooted by the time oral arguments even start. In fact, this litigation is a total waste of money – better spent in the 2010 election by putting a ballot initiative on. If anything, Perry merely reinforces stereotypes about gays: that we need to run to the courts because we are so tepid, weak and uncool. I think we can stand on your own two feet without judges (and polls suggest we are now in the majority at least in Cali!)

      Feb 9, 2012 at 7:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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