Big sigh of relief -- I can finally be proud of my home state of California again!
Today, Judge Vaughn R. Walker of Federal District Court in San Francisco overturned the ban on same-sex marriages in California.
In October 2008, I took an oath to be deputized as a marriage commissioner in order to perform the marriage ceremony of my best friend and her girlfriend of five years. It was a lovely day of celebration and family. Less than one month later, however, hell froze over Proposition 8 passed here in California, banning gay and lesbian marriages in this lovely state.
Two gay couples stood up and challenged Proposition 8, saying it violated their federal constitutional right to equal protection. Walker presided over this historic trial in January and June.
The NYT explains the debate in simple terms today:
"Gay rights advocates and civil libertarians have cast the legal battle as a fight for equal rights, while opponents, including many religious conservatives, see same-sex marriage as a threat to the 'traditional family.'"
However, the issue is not so simple for those on either side of the debate. I am fervently opposed to a ban on same-sex marriage. I wholeheartedly agree with Judge Walker and believe this ban is unconstitutional and just plain wrong. Equal rights mean equal rights. The end.
Supporters of the ban led by the National Organization for Marriage and Focus on the Family have promised an appeal, and the case may then go to the Supreme Court.
Until then, I am smiling once again when I think of the state in which I live -- sun, sand, amber waves of grain, and equality for all at last. I am proud to be a Californian.
What do you think about Judge Walker's decision today?
Image via Courage Campaign