The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit yesterday found that Proposition 8, the California ballot referendum which repealed marriage equality in the state, is unconstitutional. This affirms a similar decision in August 2010 by U.S. Chief Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
The court’s opinion also agreed with Walker’s ruling that the only purpose of the ballot initiative was discrimination against LGBT couples, and thus was not constitutionally protected.
“Today’s decision affirms what we all know to be true – our Constitution protects the basic civil rights of all Americans, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the LGBT rights group Human Rights Campaign. Solmonese added that continued vigilance was needed in the likely case of an appeal of the decision by the pro-Proposition 8 faction. “This is not the end of the road, for this case or for the larger struggle for marriage equality. We must all continue our work – in courthouses and statehouses, in church pews and living rooms – until equality is reality for LGBT people and our families everywhere.”
If proponents of Prop. 8 appeal the ruling, it will most likely be appealed to a larger panel of the Ninth Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court.