August 5, 2010
Yesterday was a momentous day in the struggle for equal rights in this country. A federal judge in California, the Honorable Vaughn Walker, struck down the state's hateful and divisive Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. In a 136 page ruling, he measured Prop 8 against the equal protection clause of the constitution and found that it came up short. He also found that the state had no business in regulating this area of it's citizen's lives:
"Excluding same-sex couples from marriage is simply not rationally related to a legitimate state interest."
However, this ruling is not the end of the fight for marriage equality. It is actually the beginning as it marks the first time a federal judge in a federal court has ruled on the issue. It's estimated it will be another two years of appeals and additional rulings before the case makes it to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it rightly belongs. Justice Kennedy holds the key to how that will go. But given Judge Walker's clear and strong ruling, it's becoming harder for opponents to make their case and see this issue as anything other than a struggle for equal rights. Period.