Thursday, August 05, 2010

California's hate amendment goes down

In 2008, in response to a court case declaring same-sex marriages legal, California voters narrowly passed Proposition 8, the hate-amendment, which amended the state constitution to state that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California". That amendment has just been overturned by a federal court on the basis that it unconstitutionally discriminates against same-sex couples. Here's the summary:

Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

This is a tremendous victory, but not just for California. Thirty states have identical constitutional amendments. And by implication, each and every one of those is also discriminatory and void. This decision may have won the right of marriage for same-sex couples not just in California, but in Alabama and Texas as well.

Of course, it will be appealed (though not by the California state government, but by the Christian hate-groups who supported the referendum), so its not the end of the story. But its a very, very good beginning, not just for California, but for the entire US.