Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Via Sacbee: Judge rules Proposition 8 unconstitutional

Federal Judge Vaughn R. Walker issued a landmark decision today by overturning Proposition 8, finding that California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage violates the federal constitutional rights of gay people.

Read more:

Via Belirco: Our Constitution Is a Living, Breathing Document

Reading the words of Judge Walker moves me deeply. Once again, our constitution is a living, breathing document, and today it protects our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, just as it should protect all people and peoples when the government treats them unequally because of who they are.

Our community should take great pride in this ruling--all of us. For while the ruling is the direct result of a wise judge and a skilled legal team, the conditions that enabled this ruling are the result of the brave, courageous, and hard work of so, so many, in California and elsewhere. Equal protection and due process are abstract legal concepts until we, individually and collectively, bring them to life. Only nine years ago, in 2001, when I first got involved in the fight for marriage equality in Massachusetts, there were many--including a large number in our own community--who argued that asserting the right to marry would hurt our cause dramatically, even leading to the reversal of the most basic civil rights laws protecting our community.

But those fears did not prevail because same-sex couples and LGBT individuals--and those who love and care about them--knew what was right, and stood up and made strong, brave and compelling cases for their own love and dignity. It's not that they weren't afraid--many who I knew, in Massachusetts, California and elsewhere--were frightened about speaking out authentically about their lives. But they did it anyway, because they knew of its fundamental importance. And not one person that I know regretted afterwards having done so
Continue reading "Our Constitution Is a Living, Breathing Document" »

Via Belirico: Good Riddance Prop 8

Well, it's official: Proposition 8 is history - hopefully, for good. Today, U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional and violates the United States Constitution's good_riddance.jpegguarantees of due process and equal protection of the laws. The ruling is a tour de force--a grand slam on every count.
The court held that Prop 8 violates the fundamental right to marry and discriminates on the basis of both sex and sexual orientation in violation of the equal protection clause. The court held that laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation must be subject to the highest level of constitutional review, but that Prop 8 would fail even the lowest test, because it is based solely on moral disapproval of gay people. The court made detailed findings of fact about all of the evidence presented and the credibility of the witnesses.
This is without a doubt a game-changing ruling. Today's decision is the most comprehensive, detailed decision addressing the constitutional rights of same-sex couples to affirmative recognition and support ever to be issued by a federal court. There are many "money quotes" in the decision but among them:
Continue reading "Good Riddance Prop 8" »

infoMania 8.5.2010 Sneak Peek: Sissy Commercials: That's Gay

Via the Sacramento Gay & Lesbian Center:


SacCenter Logo


(08-04) 13:54 PDT from:  SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE 
US District Judge Vaughn Walker today struck down Proposition 8, the voter-passed November 2008 initiative that defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman.  The Judge found that the ban on same-sex marriage violated the constitutional due process and equal protection rights of a pair of couples - one lesbian and one gay - who sued.  "California is able to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples," Walker wrote, "as it has already issued 18,000 marriage licenses to same-sex couples and has not suffered any demonstrated harm as a result."
Read more:
 A press conference is scheduled on the steps of the Gay & Lesbian Center, 1927 L Street, at 4:00 today. 

A party is planned for tonight at 6:00 at K Street and 21st in Midtown, in the parking lot behind McMartin's Realty.  Come join in the Celebration! 

Tina Reynolds, co-founder of Sacramento's Equality Action Now, a grassroots civil rights organization said. "Today, we will dance in the streets to celebrate our equality with our fellow Californians and thank all of our allies. While this is a huge step towards equal rights for same-sex marriages, it is well understood that the positive ruling in this case will serve as the bases for an appeal from the Yes on Prop 8 side. Opponents of same-sex marriages will continue their fight by using every available means legally, as well as in the public arena to deny full and equal rights to LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex) individuals. So tomorrow we will continue to build bridges to other communities by coming out and telling our personal stories".    

Wendy Rae Hill, Executive Director of the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center pointed out, "as witnessed in the this trial, what the proponents of same-sex marriage have on their side is the Constitution and evidence that no one can dispute the fact that same-sex marriages will do no harm to the institution of marriage. On the other hand there is an abundance of evidence that same-sex marriages will actually serve to strengthen our society and family structure as in the case of my own family".  
Organizations throughout the state and here in Sacramento are urging the community "to continue to amplify the themes underscored by Olson/Boies which focused on the inclusion and integration of LGBT people within the legal protections enjoyed by all Americans and framed this current controversy within the larger historical context of past discriminatory laws that have been eliminated. In this way, marriage discrimination against the LGBT community is seen as one more instance of unfounded bias and prejudice that is eliminated and is consistent with the enduring American principle of extending Constitutional protections and fairness to all people".

"Today our response to Judge Walker's ruling includes reaching out in fellowship and compassion to those who voted for Proposition 8 in 2008 out of fear and lack of information. Just like the evolution of Governor Schwarzenegger, U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein and San Diego Mayor and Prop 8 trial witness Jerry Sanders, we need to ensure we celebrate with a grace that allows people to evolve in their position towards marriage equality with dignity and join us as we move forward. We need to ensure we do not view this win as a zero sum game against our adversaries - but rather the unfolding of a more inclusive, kind, loving country for everyone".

Equality Action Now: - - 916.446.1082
Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center: - 916.442.0185
To volunteer contact: Rachel Hogue:
To contribute to this event:
To be placed on EAN's Text Network: Hilary Hodge -
For National Prop 8 Trial Tracker text "EQUAL" to 69866.

Gay & Lesbian Center Membership

The Sacramento Gay & Lesbian Center raises funds from many sources, but many people don't know this is a membership organization!  You can become a member and help support the Center with a pledge for a monthly donation.  Brochures and information are available at the Center, at Center activities, and on the "donate" link on the Center website,
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Via Advocate: The White House Reacts

White House Statement on Proposition 8

A White House spokesperson sent the following statement to The Advocate regarding Wednesday's ruling declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional:

“The President has spoken out in opposition to Proposition 8 because it is divisive and discriminatory. He will continue to promote equality for LGBT Americans.”

Vai JMG: Ted Olson Comments on Prop 8 Being Ruled Unconstitutional


Because Freedom Can't Protect Itself
Dear ACLU Supporter,

Sign the ACLU pledge to keep working until same-sex couples are allowed to marry everywhere in America.

It's a great day for fairness!

In a decision that dramatically alters the landscape on marriage fairness, a federal judge has struck down California's Proposition 8—the ballot initiative that excluded same-sex couples from marriage in the state.

Today's ruling makes clear that Prop 8 is unconstitutional and strikes at the heart of the extremist-driven campaign to deny same-sex couples the freedom to marry. And it's a huge turning point in the decades-long struggle for equality.

Prop 8 proponents have already announced that they will appeal this first-ever federal court decision striking down a gay marriage ban. And it is likely that this case will eventually end up in the Supreme Court.

You can help pave the way for victory there. Sign the ACLU pledge to keep working until same-sex couples are allowed to marry everywhere in America.

Today's ruling shows that we can stop extremist forces who want to impose their own narrow view of morality on the rest of us.

But we must do more than that. We must demonstrate that there is a national consensus in support of marriage and other relationship protections for same-sex couples in states across the country. Every step forward will make it harder for the Supreme Court to rule that Prop 8 and similar exclusions from marriage are consistent with the Constitution.

That's why it's so essential to win more victories as critical same-sex marriage bills and relationships lawsuits are decided in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Maryland, Montana and elsewhere. The ACLU is centrally involved in each of these efforts—and we need you to stand with us.

The more victories we win, the harder it will be for extremists intent on blocking our progress to succeed.

Commit to working until same-sex couples are allowed to marry all across America. Sign the ACLU Pledge.

You can count on the ACLU to defend LGBT rights in courtrooms, classrooms, and legislative hearings all across the nation. But we can't do it without you.

Thanks for standing with us.
James Esseks

James Esseks
Director, ACLU LGBT Project

P.S. This can be a dramatic turning point, but only if we commit to building on today's landmark decision. Please sign the ACLU Pledge to keep working until victory is achieved. And please, pass this message on so that we can add more voices to our call for equality.

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Via JMG: Hate Groups React

“Big surprise! We expected nothing different from Judge Vaughn Walker, after the biased way he conducted this trial,” said Brian Brown, President of NOM. "With a stroke of his pen, Judge Walker has overruled the votes and values of 7 million Californians who voted for marriage as one man and one woman. This ruling, if allowed to stand, threatens not only Prop 8 in California but the laws in 45 other states that define marriage as one man and one woman.” "Never in the history of America has a federal judge ruled that there is a federal constitutional right to same sex marriage. The reason for this is simple – there isn’t!” added Brown. “The ‘trial’ in San Francisco in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case is a unique, and disturbing, episode in American jurisprudence. Here we have an openly gay (according to the San Francisco Chronicle) federal judge substituting his views for those of the American people and of our Founding Fathers who I promise you would be shocked by courts that imagine they have the right to put gay marriage in our Constitution. We call on the Supreme Court and Congress to protect the people’s right to vote for marriage,” stated Maggie Gallagher, Chairman of the Board of NOM.
Family Research Council:
"This lawsuit, should it be upheld on appeal and in the Supreme Court, would become the 'Roe v. Wade' of same-sex 'marriage,' overturning the marriage laws of 45 states. As with abortion, the Supreme Court's involvement would only make the issue more volatile. It's time for the far Left to stop insisting that judges redefine our most fundamental social institution and using liberal courts to obtain a political goal they cannot obtain at the ballot box. "Marriage is recognized as a public institution, rather than a purely private one, because of its role in bringing together men and women for the reproduction of the human race and keeping them together to raise the children produced by their union. The fact that homosexuals prefer not to enter into marriages as historically defined does not give them a right to change the definition of what a 'marriage' is.
Focus On The Family:
“Judge Walker’s ruling raises a shocking notion that a single federal judge can nullify the votes of more than 7 million California voters, binding Supreme Court precedent, and several millennia-worth of evidence that children need both a mom and a dad. “During these legal proceedings, the millions of California residents who supported Prop 8 have been wrongfully accused of being bigots and haters. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rather, they are concerned citizens, moms and dads who simply wanted to restore to California the long-standing understanding that marriage is between one woman and one man – a common-sense position that was taken away by the actions of another out-of-control state court in May 2008. “Fortunately for them, who make up the majority of Californians, this disturbing decision is not the last word."
Concerned Women For America:
“Judge Walker’s decision goes far beyond homosexual ‘marriage’ to strike at the heart of our representative democracy. Judge Walker has declared, in effect, that his opinion is supreme and ‘We the People’ are no longer free to govern ourselves. The ruling should be appealed and overturned immediately. “Marriage is not a political toy. It is too important to treat as a means for already powerful people to gain preferred status or acceptance. Marriage between one man and one woman undergirds a stable society and cannot be replaced by any other living arrangement. “Citizens of California voted to uphold marriage because they understood the sacred nature of marriage and that homosexual activists use same-sex ‘marriage’ as a political juggernaut to indoctrinate young children in schools to reject their parent’s values and to harass, sue and punish people who disagree. “CWA stands in prayer for our nation as we continue to defend marriage as the holy union God created between one man and one woman.”
Liberty Counsel (Hilariously Blames Another Hate Group!!!):
Although Liberty Counsel has defended the marriage laws in California since the battle began in 2004, the Alliance Defense Fund, representing the Prop 8 LCinitiative, opposed Liberty Counsel’s attempt to intervene on behalf of Campaign for California Families. The California Attorney General did not oppose Liberty Counsel’s intervention, but ADF did. Liberty Counsel sought to provide additional defense to Prop 8 because of concern that the case was not being adequately defended. After ADF actively opposed Liberty Counsel, ADF presented only two witnesses at trial, following the 15 witnesses presented by those who challenged the amendment. Even Judge Walker commented that he was concerned by the lack of evidence presented by ADF on behalf of Prop 8. Liberty Counsel will file an amicus brief at the court of appeals in defense of Prop 8.
(All quotes via Jeremy Hooper at Good As You)
reposted from Joe

Via JMG: the christinist wacko right will not go lightly...

A Freeper's Solution To Prop 8 Ruling

The level of hatred and violence being expressed on Free Republic at the this moment in unrivaled, even for them. Screen grab tipped by JMG reader Ralph.
reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Schwarzenegger Reacts

"Judge Walker had the great responsibility of deciding whether Proposition 8 violates the Constitution of the United States. He heard in-depth arguments from both sides on fundamental questions of due process, equal protection and freedom from discrimination. There are strong feelings on both sides of this issue, and I am glad that all viewpoints were respected throughout the proceedings. We should also recognize that there will continue to be different points of view in the wake of this decision.

"For the hundreds of thousands of Californians in gay and lesbian households who are managing their day-to-day lives, this decision affirms the full legal protections and safeguards I believe everyone deserves. At the same time, it provides an opportunity for all Californians to consider our history of leading the way to the future, and our growing reputation of treating all people and their relationships with equal respect and dignity. Today's decision is by no means California's first milestone, nor our last, on America's road to equality and freedom for all people."

(Via - Rex Wockner)
reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Cyndi Lauper Reacts

"Gay and lesbian couples have long struggled for acceptance and the ability to marry the person they love and want to build a family with. Today's landmark ruling declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional is a testament to the fundamentals on which this great country was built and validates that the discrimination gay couples face must come to an end. We as a society should be embracing these couples and helping them make the lifelong commitment to each other that many of us straight people take for granted each and every day. This decision is a major step in the right direction towards equality.

"On behalf of the True Colors Fund and the Give a Damn Campaign, I want to commend and thank Chad Griffin and the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the legal team headed by Ted Olson and David Boies, and the plaintiffs in the case, Kris Perry & Sandy Stier and Paul Katami & Jeff Zarrillo, for their leadership and courage in standing up for equality and fairness." - Cyndi Lauper.
reposted from Joe

Via JMG: LGBT & Progressive Orgs React

Ted Olson & David Boies (AFER):
"We came to court to seek for Kris, Sandy, Paul and Jeff the same right to marry that all other Americans enjoy, and to ensure that they receive equal protection under the law as guaranteed to every American by the Constitution. Through its decision today, the court has acted in the best traditions of a legal system established to uphold the Constitution and the principles of equality upon which this nation was founded," said attorney Theodore B. Olson. "On no less than 14 occasions, the Supreme Court has held that marriage is a fundamental right. This decision recognizes that Proposition 8 denied the plaintiffs, and tens-of-thousands of other Californians, that fundamental constitutional right and treated them unequally." “The Supreme Court has long held that marriage is a fundamental right. Equal protection under the law is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, and this ruling affirms that universal right of every American,” plaintiff's attorney David Boies said. “Depriving the fundamental right to marry causes grievous harm to millions of Americans and their children.”
“Today’s decision is a huge victory for the LGBT people of America. For the first time, a federal court has conducted a trial and found that there is absolutely no reason to deny same-sex couples the fairness and dignity of marriage,” said James Esseks, Director of the ACLU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Project. “At the same time, we know that this is not the end. In order to give this case the best possible chance of success as it moves through the appeals courts, we need to show that America is ready for same-sex couples to marry by continuing to seek marriage and other relationship protections in states across the country. It’s simply not fair, and not legal, to continue to exclude committed same-sex couples from marriage.”
Equality California:
Victory! After compelling testimony from California couples who are denied the freedom to marry, Federal District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled today that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. The case will now move to the Court of Appeals. We owe Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown a great deal of gratitude for their unprecedented decision not to defend this discriminatory measure, leaving only Andrew Pugno’s anti-LGBT extremist group to defend the case. Celebrate this incredible victory by defending it.
"GLAD's case and Perry seek to cure two important but different injustices," according to Mary L. Bonauto, GLAD attorney and co-lead counsel in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management. "Gill is not a right-to-marry case, since we represent couples who are already married. Rather, it is a case about federal recognition, challenging DOMA's denial of these marriages for purposes of all federal laws. DOMA is synonymous with disapproval of gay people and our families, and we seek to end Congress's different treatment of married people based simply on sexual orientation." Bonauto added, "No matter the outcome of these federal court cases, it is still imperative to continue working on a local level to secure respect for and undo all state-based discrimination against gay and lesbian families."
This ruling marks a victory for loving, committed couples who want nothing more than the same rights and security as other families. From the start, this has been about basic fairness. Today we celebrate the affirmation of this fundamental principle; tomorrow, we are back out there sharing our personal stories and having conversations with Californians and people all across the country about why this matters and who we are. The tide is turning nationwide in favor of marriage equality, but our work is far from over. Today’s ruling is just a beginning step in what will likely be a long process, yet we are confident that fairness will prevail. Our conversations are breaking down barriers and helping to transform our country.
Human Rights Campaign:
“After hearing extensive evidence in support of marriage equality, and essentially no defense of the discrimination wrought by Prop 8, Judge Walker reached the same conclusion we have always known to be true – the Constitution’s protections are for all Americans, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “We thank the courageous plaintiff couples, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, and attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies for their tremendous efforts leading to today’s decision and their ongoing commitment as the case moves forward on appeal. The battle for marriage equality continues, and 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.”

reposted from Joe

Via Courage Campaign:

Courage Campaign

Dear Daniel --

Judge Vaughn Walker just released his decision, ruling that PROP 8 IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

Judge Walker's federal court decision is an historic milestone in the fight for full equality, but it is only a first step: The decision will inevitably be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

After denying Americans the opportunity to watch this historic trial on television, Prop 8 campaign leaders and extreme right-wing organizations like the National Organization for Marriage and Focus on the Family will stop at nothing to delegitimize this decision before it ever reaches the Supreme Court.

But this time, we're fighting back by launching our biggest campaign ever -- an unprecedented online storytelling project to bring the Prop 8 trial into the lives of the American people and transform the debate over marriage equality.

As the next phase in our year-long "Testimony: Equality on Trial" project, our new campaign will empower same-sex couples, their families, and allies to fundamentally change the conversation about same-sex marriage in America -- establishing today's ruling as the social and cultural foundation for victory in the Supreme Court.

To defend Judge Walker's historic decision, we need to go on offense against the Prop 8 campaign, NOM and Focus on the Family. That's why Tom Dolby and Drew Frist, just married last year, have pledged to contribute $25,000 if our community can match it in the next 48 hours. Will you help us make the match and defend Judge Walker's decision in the court of public opinion? Click here to contribute $25, $50, $100 or more right now! DEADLINE: FRIDAY, 11:59 PM:

Ted Olson, the legendary attorney who teamed up with one-time adversary David Boies to successfully lead this case against Prop 8, said it better than anyone:
"If there was ever a trial in the history of our country that the American people should have seen, it was this one."
I couldn't agree more. To prevent the right-wing from spouting the same lies that were debunked and destroyed in Judge Walker's courtroom, we must translate today's victory in court to victory in the hearts and minds of Americans.

That's why we collected nearly 140,000 signatures to televise the Prop 8 trial -- a campaign cited in a dissenting opinion to the the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision against broadcast. It's also why we launched the Prop 8 Trial Tracker and the NOM Tour Tracker -- generating more than 2.5 million views and 44,121 comments combined. And it's why we are bringing this trial to life across America with the next phase of Testimony: Equality on Trial.

Today's historic decision must be defended in the court of public opinion. That's why Tom Dolby and Drew Frist have stepped up to make a $25,000 matching grant challenge to the Courage community so we can fight back together against the right-wing's framing of this trial, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. But we need your help now to make the match in the next 48 hours. Click here to contribute $25, $50, $100 or whatever you can afford. DEADLINE: FRIDAY, 11:59 PM:

Thank you for all you have done to make today's victory possible. With your ongoing support, full equality will eventually be the law of the land.

Rick Jacobs
Chair, Courage Campaign Institute 

Courage Campaign Institute is a part of the Courage Campaign's multi-issue online organizing network that empowers more than 700,000 grassroots and netroots supporters to push for progressive change and full equality in California and across the country. To get involved in the Courage Campaign Institute, visit "Testimony: Equality on Trial" -- our year-long campaign to bring the Prop 8 trial into the lives of Americans.
To power our campaign to defend the Prop 8 decision, please chip in what you can today:

Via Judy Shepard:


Judy Shepard: Prop 8 Verdict
‘Moves America Closer to Its Ideals’
Says Victory for Plaintiffs ‘Proves the Power of Personal Stories’

DENVER, Colo. — A sweeping federal court verdict invalidating California’s ban on same-sex marriages “moves America closer to its ideals of respecting individual freedom and treating all citizens equally under the law,” Matthew Shepard Foundation board president Judy Shepard said Wednesday.
Shepard, the mother of 1998 Wyoming anti-gay hate crime victim Matthew Shepard, serves on the advisory board of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which filed the legal challenge to the ban in May on behalf of citizens denied marriages by the 2008 law narrowly approved by voters.
“These plaintiffs are law-abiding, family-oriented, tax-paying citizens whose privacy was invaded, and whose dignity was affronted, by a misguided and unconstitutional law,” Shepard continued.
“Their victory at trial shows that our courts still play a vital role in safeguarding the rights of minorities from majorities who misunderstand them. But more importantly, it proves the power of personal stories. Equal marriage rights are ultimately about people’s families, and during the trial, their personal need for legal recognition of their relationships came through loud and clear,” she added.
“After Matt came out to me, he once asked me if I thought gay couples would ever be allowed to get married,” Shepard recalled. “I told him I didn’t think it would happen in my lifetime, but it probably would in his. It’s so sad, and ironic, that it turned out the other way. But this case warms my heart, to think that his dream is still coming true.”
Judy Shepard and her husband Dennis established the Matthew Shepard Foundation in 1998 after their son’s murder in Laramie, Wyoming, to honor him in a manner appropriate to his dreams, beliefs and aspirations. The Foundation seeks to “Replace Hate with Understanding, Compassion and Acceptance” through its educational, outreach and advocacy programs and by continuing to tell Matthew’s story.
Grey Line
MSF Logo
The Matthew Shepard Foundation was founded by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of their 21-year old son, Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming in October 1998.

Created to honor Matthew in a manner that was appropriate to his dreams, beliefs and aspirations, the Foundation seeks to "Replace Hate with Understanding, Compassion & Acceptance" through its varied educational, outreach and advocacy programs and by continuing to tell Matthew's story.

Via HRC:

Human Rights Campaign
Dear Daniel,
Federal judge declares Prop. 8 unconstitutional!
The two loving couples who were plaintiffs in this case deserve our gratitude.
Today we moved a step closer to full equality.
After the first-ever federal trial on whether it's legal to ban same-sex couples from marrying, the district court ruled that Proposition 8 violated the U.S. Constitution.
This court's ruling will undoubtedly be appealed, so our struggle is far from over. But it was a tremendous step forward for equality and a critical win.
The two courageous couples who acted as plaintiffs in this suit opened up their lives to months of public scrutiny and helped bring about this victory, fighting alongside the legal team of Ted Olson, David Boies and the American Foundation for Equal Rights. They deserve our gratitude. Will you take a moment to thank them?
Here is another way to get involved. Today, people in cities across the country will be gathering for peaceful "Day of Decision" rallies to take advantage of this moment and show the broad support for marriage equality among both LGBT and straight Americans. Find out if there's a rally near you.
This case was a landmark. Over the course of the months-long trial, the plaintiffs introduced substantial testimony and evidence to finally show that Prop. 8 had discriminatory motivations – and that same-sex couples are entitled to equal rights. Because this is a district court decision and will most likely be appealed, it may not have an immediate effect on marriage bans in California or any other states. Nonetheless, it's a significant moment. It's a vindication of the grassroots work we've done across the country to give every loving couple the same rights – and a shot of momentum to continue that work.
The trial also showed that the other side remains as ferocious as ever. Not content with simply defending Prop. 8, they tried to persuade the judge to stop California state agencies from recognizing the marriages of the 18,000 same-sex couples who tied the knot in the months before Prop. 8 passed.
So without question, the forces of bigotry will appeal this ruling. After the Court of Appeals, this case could very well end up before the highest court in the land – just another reason we must fight to get fair-minded judges like Elena Kagan on the Supreme Court.
We know we will prevail in the end. Because we are on the right side of history and the law. Because public opinion is increasingly in our favor. Because even conservatives like Ted Olson – who argued for the George W. Bush side in Bush v. Gore – share a passion for this cause.
But it will take more sacrifice and more grueling hard work. It will take more people like you standing up for what you believe – and more heroes like the plaintiffs in this case refusing to accept second-class status.
Thanks for your continued support on this defining issue.
Joe Solmonese
Joe Solmonese
This link is specific to you, so please take action on this campaign before you forward to your friends. Having trouble clicking on the links above? Simply copy and paste this URL into your browser's address bar to fill out and share the survey:
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Victory in the Federal Challenge to Prop 8!

Today, in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal lawsuit challenging Prop 8, Judge Vaughn R. Walker of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco ruled that Prop 8 is unconstitutional and violates the United States Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection of the laws.
Today’s groundbreaking decision affirms that the law cannot treat people differently based on their sexual orientation and that a majority cannot strip a minority group of its fundamental freedoms at the ballot box. Judge Walker ruled that there truly is no substance to the arguments of those who would deny marriage equality to same-sex couples. This is a victory for same-sex couples and our families, who simply want the dignity and security of having the same freedom to marry as others, as well as for all Americans who believe in our nation’s bedrock principle of fairness.
Today is a day for the history books.
Yours truly,

Kate Kendell
Executive Director, NCLR

P.S. You can read my statement on this historic ruling here.

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