Posts Tagged ‘Prop8’

Judge Walker lifts ban at City Hall, San Francisco.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/08/12/california.same.sex.ruling/index.html?hpt=T2

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(08-12) 11:14 PDT SAN FRANCISCO — Lesbian and gay couples were lining up this morning at the San Francisco clerk’s office, hours before a judge is expected to rule on whether same-sex marriages can resume while his landmark decision in the case is appealed.

Rod Wood, 56, and his boyfriend of seven years, Roger Hunt, 52, were the first in line at San Francisco City Hall. The San Francisco couple said they wanted to be there in case the window of opportunity to wed was small.

Wood proposed to Hunt two days ago, and the couple got rings Wednesday night at the Stonestown Galleria mall in San Francisco. If the two get married, they plan to celebrate their honeymoon by taking a motorcycle trip to the Sierra Nevada.

“I’m trying to remain calm, but I don’t want to be devastated if the stay isn’t lifted,” Hunt said.

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker intends to rule today on whether same-sex marriage can resume. Last week, Walker invalidated Proposition 8, which was passed by voters in 2008 and bans same-sex marriage in California, but he immediately put in place a stay that froze enforcement of his ruling.

His action – expected between 9 a.m. and noon – will either lift the stay, which could enable gay and lesbian couples to get married, or to leave it in place, which would maintain the ban.

At least 15 couples had lined up at City Hall this morning.

One couple, Teresa Rowe, and her girlfriend of five years, Kristin Orbin, both 31, arrived at 4:30 a.m. from Fairfield. They were playing it safe; rather than wait in line at the clerk’s office, they were sitting on the steps of City Hall to see whether Vaughn would lift the stay.

The clerk’s office, meanwhile, was girding for the likely onrush of same-sex couples seeking to get married.

“We’re fully prepared,’ said deputy county clerk Alan Wong. “We’re fully ready.”

There were several Prop. 8 supporters outside City Hall. Some carried signs reading, “Yes on 8.”

Don Grundmann, 58, of San Leandro showed up at 7 a.m. to protest.

“I had to be here at Ground Zero,” Grundmann said. “We had to stand up to judicial tyranny.”

Tour buses have passed by City Hall, and some on board have been cheering same-sex couples outside.

Chronicle staff writer Rachel Gordon contributed to this report.

E-mail Justin Berton at jberton@sfchronicle.com.

via Same-sex couples lining up at City Hall.

IllegalInAmerica:

I am watching the live feed right now from City Hall, San Francisco, where people are waiting to hear the ruling from Judge Walker.  These two douches are talking and this dude sounds like a total idiot talking about how the Judge should not have this decision.

My heart goes out to the people who are waiting in line today.  I hope that you get the chance to marry the person that you have been with for what is most likely many years, and you deserve all the rights and everything that everyone else has.

I will keep you posted on what the results are, expected within minutes.

IIA

Los Angeles, California (CNN) — A federal court in California will rule Thursday on whether to keep a temporary stay in place in the case that overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriages.

The United States District Court for the Northern District of California will announce its decision between 9 a.m. and noon (12 p.m. and 3 p.m. ET).

If the stay is lifted, same-sex marriages will be legal in California.

Last week, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that voter-approved Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution.

The 136-page opinion is an initial step in what will likely be a lengthy fight over California’s Proposition 8, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

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At question in the trial was whether California’s ban on same-sex marriage violates gay couples’ rights to equal protection and due process, as protected by the U.S. Constitution.

The high-profile case is being watched closely by both supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage, as many say it is destined to make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. If it does, the case could result in a landmark decision on whether people in the United States are allowed to marry people of the same sex.

Same-sex marriage is currently legal in five U.S. states — Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa and New Hampshire — and in the District of Columbia, while civil unions are permitted in New Jersey.

“Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples,” Walker, who was appointed to the federal bench by former President Ronald Reagan, wrote in his opinion.

“Race restrictions on marital partners were once common in most states but are now seen as archaic, shameful or even bizarre,” he added. “Gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage; marriage under law is a union of equals.”

After the ruling, elated supporters gathered to celebrate the judge’s opinion in San Francisco’s Castro district.

People waved rainbow flags and U.S. flags, and carried signs that read, “We all deserve the freedom to marry,” and “Separate is Unequal.” Similar rallies unfolded in Los Angeles and San Diego.

“For our entire lives, our government and the law have treated us as unequal. This decision to ensure that our constitutional rights are as protected as everyone else’s makes us incredibly proud of our country,” said Kristin Perry, a plaintiff.

Perry and Sandy Stier, along with Jeffrey Zarrillo and Paul Katami, are the two couples at the heart of the case, which, if appealed, would go next to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals before possibly heading to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Opponents of same-sex marriage have said their best bet lies with higher courts and have vowed to appeal the federal judge’s ruling.

In a national survey conducted by Gallup in May, 53 percent of respondents said same-sex marriages should not be recognized by law, while 44 percent said they should.

Proposition 8 is part of a long line of seesaw rulings, court cases, debates and protests over the controversial issue of same-sex marriage. It passed in California with some 52 percent of the vote in November 2008.

“Big surprise! We expected nothing different from Judge Vaughn Walker, after the biased way he conducted this trial,” Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, said last week. “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.”

IllegalInAmerica Says:

Judge Walker, you better make the right decision!  These are civil rights that should be afforded to same-sex couples, and it is really the only way to go.  I’ll be back once the decision has been made with more thoughts.

IIA