August 4, 2010

California drops gay marriage ban

RELIGION/SEX - A federal judge has overturned the gay marriage ban in California, marking the start of a long road to the U.S. Supreme Court which will answer the question of whether same-sex couples in America have the right to get married.

And to quote the "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" line from the Declaration of Independence, you can best be sure Americans will finally win that right in the end. Gays and Lesbians have the right to life, the right to liberty and the right to pursue their own happiness. Now while its still statistically true many marriages are unhappy and/or end in divorce, its the pursuit of the happy marriage that everyone wants.

The landmark case, when it finally does arrive on the Supreme Court's doorstep, will be one of the most watched, anticipated and dreaded moments in American history.

The ruling yesterday by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker caused a celebration outside the courthouse with couples waving American flags and rainbow flags (or combinations thereof). Judge Walker made the decision due to a lawsuit filed by two gay couples who said the ban on gay marriage in California violated their civil rights and the right to be treated equally, with decency and respect.

The religious group known as the Protect Marriage coalition however promised they would immediately appeal the ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals... and when that fails it means it will go straight to the U.S. Supreme Court... but only if someone forces the issue.

Right now in the United States what they have is an awkward situation where the Protect Marriage coalition is in a do-or-die, between a rock and a hard place... they either accept that gay marriage is now allowed, or they take it all the way to the Supreme Court and take the chance that the Supreme Court can be swayed in their direction.

California voters passed the Proposition 8 ban on gay marriages back in November 2008 with 52% of voters in favour, five months after the California Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. Overturning this means that Prop 8 will become void unless the judge's decision is appealed.

Judge Walker determined that Prop 8 violated the United States Constitution's sections on due process and equal protection, and furthermore discrimated against gay men and lesbians. What is ironic is that Judge Walker is a Republican and has a history of being anti-gay. When he was a lawyer he helped sue a gay Olympian who created the athletic competition called the "Gay Olympics". He was later appointed by Ronald Reagan but his nomination was delayed 2 years because of gay rights activists.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger praised the new ruling.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." - The United States Declaration of Independence.

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