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Appeal filed against Prop 8 decision

Fri 6 Aug 2010 In: International News View at Wayback View at NDHA

Anti Proposition 8 campaigners The dust has barely settled on the decision to strike down Proposition 8 in California, and already an appeal has been filed by anti-equality campaigners. Judge Vaughn Walker has ruled that the state's ban on same-sex marriage irrationally discriminates against gay men and lesbians. "Proposition 8 places the force of law behind stigmas against gays and lesbians," he wrote, including the notion that "gays and lesbians are not as good as heterosexuals" and "gay and lesbian relationships do not deserve the full recognition of society." If an appeal application against the decision is accepted, there is no deadline on when it would be heard. That could mean uncertainty over if and when gay California couples will be allowed to marry again, something Judge Walker was due to address on Friday, California time. It's predicted he will now hold off on making a decision on future marriage rights until after any appeal is heard. Neil Broverman fromThe Advocate reports a three-judge panel will be chosen at random to decide the appeal and will likely ask for written arguments from both sides before scheduling a hearing. He writes that after the appeal the case will "almost certainly land in the lap of the US Supreme Court". "Marriage equality supporters are heartened by Walker's wording of his decision, which legal experts view as rational and well thought out. Walker's main points - that Prop. 8 violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection and due process clauses and that a simple notion that straight couples are superior to gay couples is irrational and not a sound basis for law - may be difficult for lawyers and the judges of the ninth circuit and the Supreme Court to refute." Northwestern Law School professor Andrew Koppelman hastold The New York Times that if the Supreme Court does not want to uphold same-sex marriage, its job has been made harder by this decision. He says the Supreme Court judges are supposed to take facts found by district courts as true, unless they are clearly wrong.Dean of the law school at the University of California, Irvine, seems to sum up the state of play in his comment to the New York Times that "this is a huge victory for the supporters of marriage equality - but it's not the last word.”    

Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff

First published: Friday, 6th August 2010 - 10:26am

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