Judge Strikes Down California’s Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

On August 4, 2010, a federal judge in California knocked down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that voter-approved Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution.  Proposition 8 restricts the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples, and overturns the California Supreme Court’s ruling of In re Marriage Cases that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.  The next big issue in the case is whether the temporary stay that Judge Walker granted, which stops his decision from taking immediate effect, will extend until the Ninth Circuit deals with the case.  Judge Walker will hear arguments from both sides before making his final decision.  Assuming Judge Walker ultimately denies the stay pending appeal, that ruling will then likely get appealed to the Ninth Circuit.  And how the judges assigned to the handle that limited appeal will be important — it will determine whether a lot of marriage licenses will get issued in the short term to same-sex couples.  cnn.com

The federal government of the United States does not recognize same-sex marriages and is prohibited from doing so by the Defense of Marriage Act.  Same-sex marriages are currently granted by five of the 50 states and one federal district.  In Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington, D.C., marriages for same-sex couples are legal and currently performed.  In New York, Rhode Island, and Maryland, same-sex marriages are recognized, but not performed.  Although same-sex marriages remain illegal due to the temporary stay on the recent decision striking down California’s Proposition 8, Judge Walker’s decision a major victory for the supporters of gay rights in a case that almost all sides say is sure to wind up before 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.

The attorneys at Leeds Morelli & Brown, P.C., dedicate a large amount of their practice to discrimination claims.  For any questions, contact an attorney at the Leeds Morelli & Brown P.C. law firm for a free consultation at 1-800-585-4658. Leeds Morelli & Brown P.C.’s website is located at www.lmblaw.com.