In another victory for advocates of gay rights, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California upheld a lower court’ s ruling that Proposition 8, a ban on gay marriage passed in 2008 by California residents, was unconstitutional.
The case was previously heard by a federal district court judge, who found that California had no “rational basis” to ban gay marriage. In the appeals court’s decision, Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote the following:
“Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.”
While some hope that this case, and the inevitable appeal by supporters of Proposition 8, will eventually lead to nationwide legalization of gay marriage, Reinhardt ‘s decision attempted to make the constitutional issue discussed more narrow and only applicable to California, not other states. Still, many gay rights advocates are hopeful this decision will move their cause forward.
The Proposition 8 appeal was decided by a three-judge panel of the 9th Court. Proposition 8 supporters will appeal to a full panel of 11 judges to hear the case, in what is certainly a prelude to a showdown at the United States Supreme Court.
– Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics Editor
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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