Federal judge may rule today on Prop. 8 challenge

Case is first federal trial on California same-sex marriage ban

A federal judge in San Francisco is scheduled to rule today on whether Proposition 8, California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, violates the U.S. Constitution.

The case before U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker has been the nation's first federal trial on a U.S. constitutional challenge to a state law prohibiting gay marriage.

A previous five-year battle over same-sex marriage in California centered on the state rather than federal constitution.

The federal trial pits two same-sex couples who want to marry against the sponsors of Proposition 8 and their campaign committee,

The measure was enacted as a state constitutional amendment by California voters in 2008 and provides that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

Walker heard evidence in the nonjury trial in January, presided over closing arguments in June and, according to a court spokeswoman, will file a decision between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. today.

Both sides have said Walker's court is only the first stop and that they will appeal if they lose, first to a federal appeals court in San Francisco and then likely to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In fact Proposition 8's sponsors filed a motion late Tuesday asking him to stay his ruling if he decides to strike down the ban while they appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Proposition 8 attorney Charles Cooper argued in the filing that the sponsors are likely to win on appeal and that allowing same-sex marriage in the interim would cause confusion and uncertainty.

Cooper wrote, "Another purported window of same-sex marriage in California would cause irreparable harm."

The last window of same-sex marriage in the state occurred between June 2008, when a California Supreme Court ruling allowing gay weddings under the state Constitution went into effect, and Nov. 4, 2008, when voters approved Proposition 8.

About 18,000 same-sex couples married during that time, and the state high court left those marriages in place at the same time that it upheld voters' right to enact Proposition 8 in a decision in May 2009.

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Like this comment
Posted by TheRestOfTheStory
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Aug 4, 2010 at 8:56 pm

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as innuendo, hearsay or specific accusatory information unsupported by facts.)

Like this comment
Posted by How Dumb!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 4, 2010 at 9:17 pm

So if the ruling turned out for the bigots who want Prop 8 upheld and the judge was straight, it would be relevant?

Get off your high horse. The ruling turned out the way it did because it was the right thing! Bigots might as well start getting used to the idea that the world is changing, whether it pleases their little narrow selfish brains or not!

Like this comment
Posted by Who cares if he's gay?
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Aug 4, 2010 at 9:59 pm

So if you think it's such a big deal that he's gay, then in your mind all straight judges cannot be fair and unbiased when presiding over trials involving male and female couples. Give me a break.

I went to an amazing rally today and spoke to wonderful people. Everyone was sharing stories about family members who are now considered their equal. How in the world could anyone be against that? And please don't talk about the "sanctity of marriage". If you truly believe that, you should be actively working to outlaw divorce in California because that is doing much more harm to marriage.

I can't wait to tell my children about this day!

Like this comment
Posted by So silly!
a resident of Castlewood
on Aug 4, 2010 at 10:13 pm

And by the way, the gay judge that you mentioned was appointed by President Ronald Reagan.

I love it!!!

Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Weekly
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 5, 2010 at 2:29 am

This is such a stupid issue, how much money has been wasted on it. The church can define and recognize whatever marriages it would like to, likewise so can the state.

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 5, 2010 at 8:21 am

I wonder how many of the illegal immigrants living in the CA are gay...tee hee hee, tee hee hee...

lemme see...about 9%!

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