August 5th, 2010
12:52 PM ET

The buzz on Proposition 8 ruling

A federal judge in California struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage Wednesday, ruling that voter-approved Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution and handing supporters of gay rights a major victory in a case that both sides say is sure to wind up before the Supreme Court.

As soon as the ruling was handed down, iReporters, celebrities and politicians began to share their thoughts on the potentially landmark decision. Columnists and news and political organizations soon followed with opinions that varied from calling the ruling one of the biggest decisions in our lifetime to seeing it as a completely overreaching attempt at judicial activism.

Here's what they had to say:

'Unforgettable lesson'

"We strenuously hope that [U.S. District Judge Vaughn] Walker's decision will be upheld by the high court. But no matter what happens, the trial in San Francisco delivered an unforgettable lesson in what Proposition 8 and same-sex marriage really mean.

"From now on, it will be harder for opponents of same-sex unions to continue mouthing canards. The public as well as the courts have had an opportunity to hear the facts. The debate over same-sex marriage will never be quite the same again."
- Los Angeles Times editorial

'Discrimination, prejudice'

"Proposition 8 was based on discrimination, prejudice and religion. The Constitution protects rights of the individuals that often the majority would take away from the minority. That's why we don't vote on these issues."
- iReporter Cliff Olney of Watertown, New York

'Extreme judicial activism'

"Today's decision by a federal district judge in San Francisco striking down state constitutional protections for marriage and inventing a spurious federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage is an example of extreme judicial activism. Moreover, it is an affront to the millions of California voters who approved Proposition 8 in 2008 after months of vigorous public debate.

"Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. The people of California, and the United States, have made clear in numerous ways that they have not consented to the redefinition of marriage. For the past two decades they have considered the arguments advanced by some for overturning marriage as it has been understood in our country. In state after state — 45 in all - they have chosen to reaffirm the meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. They have done so because they understand that establishing same-sex marriage would transform the institution into a set of private interests rather than buttress it as a multi-generational reality binding mothers, fathers and their children biologically, socially and legally."
- Chuck Donovan of the Heritage Foundation

iReport: What's your take? Tell us your thoughts on Proposition 8 ruling

'Instant landmark'

"The decision, though an instant landmark in American legal history, is more than that. It also is a stirring and eloquently reasoned denunciation of all forms of irrational discrimination, the latest link in a chain of pathbreaking decisions that permitted interracial marriages and decriminalized gay sex between consenting adults.

"As the case heads toward appeals at the circuit level and probably the Supreme Court, Judge Walker's opinion will provide a firm legal foundation that will be difficult for appellate judges to assail."

- New York Times editorial

'Unforgettable lesson'

"Years from now, when all Americans finally are permitted to marry the person they choose, we'll look back on today's ruling by Federal District Court Judge Vaughn Walker as a historic milestone - a moment when the opponents of equality were exposed for the hypocrisy and absurdity of their arguments. Defenders of the 2008 initiative presented just two witnesses, neither of whom could offer any credible evidence that gay marriage harms heterosexual marriage or that barring gays from marrying promotes any legitimate state interest.

"It wasn't poor courtroom maneuvering that led to this outcome. Says David Boies, a lead lawyer for the plaintiffs: 'They didn't fail because they're bad lawyers, they failed because there isn't any evidence to support the argument they're Advertisement advocating.' "
- San Jose Mercury News editorial

'Filled with broad pronouncements'

"In reading so far, I think a notable feature of Judge Walker's decision is its judicial maximalism - a willingness to reach out and decide fundamental constitutional questions not strictly necessary to reach the result. It is also, in maximalist style, filled with broad pronouncements about the essential characteristics of marriage and confident conclusions about social science. This maximalism will make the decision an even bigger target for either the Ninth Circuit or the Supreme Court. If that's right, it magnifies the potential for unintended and harmful consequences for gay-rights claims even beyond the issue of marriage. ...

"If the Ninth Circuit and/or Supreme Court decide to reverse Walker's ruling, they will be more likely to deal with this issue in a way that will set broader precedent. A minimalist decision for [same-sex marriage] by Walker could have left this matter undecided and thus would not have forced a higher court's hand."
- Dale Carpenter column on the Volokh Conspiracy

A decision written for Justice Kennedy?

"Is that the end of it? Oh, no. Judge Walker is already being flayed alive for the breadth and boldness of his decision. The appeals road will be long and nasty. Walker has temporarily stayed the ruling pending argument on a stay. (Rick Hasen argues it may be wise for him to stay the order pending appeal for tactical reasons.)

"Any way you look at it, today's decision was written for a court of one - Kennedy - the man who has written most eloquently about dignity and freedom and the right to determine one's own humanity. The real triumph of Perry v. Schwarzenegger may be that it talks in the very loftiest terms about matters rooted in logic, science, money, social psychology, and fact."
- Dahlia Lithwick column on Slate

Too soon to celebrate?

"As well-crafted as this decision is, it is too soon to declare victory. As proponents of gay rights know all too well, many courts have not been as fastidious about excluding religious rationales from their constitutional decision-making. One need only remember Justice Burger's 1986 opinion supporting the constitutionality of laws banning sodomy because such condemnations were 'firmly rooted in Judeo-Christian moral and ethical standards.'

"More deeply, we must recognize that even when we win these cases, it is only because our opponents' core objections have been, however properly, ruled out of court. Until we directly address them in the public sphere, we will not have truly won the culture war for marriage equality."
- Kenji Yoshino column on NYTimes.com

'Disturbing episode in American jurisprudence'

"The 'trial' in San Francisco in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case is a unique, and disturbing, episode in American jurisprudence. Here we have an openly gay (according to the San Francisco Chronicle) federal judge substituting his views for those of the American people and of our Founding Fathers who I promise you would be shocked by courts that imagine they have the right to put gay marriage in our Constitution. We call on the Supreme Court and Congress to protect the people's right to vote for marriage."
- Response on National Organization for Marriage website

soundoff (737 Responses)
  1. DarthWoo

    You clearly have no knowledge of molecular biology to be spouting such nonsense. If your worldview held true, the fields of biotech today, and even simple things like selective breeding of ages past would not exist.

    August 5, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Flush1

    A man's junk has no place in another mans bum.

    August 5, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. The Dog

    Good that means no gay has to worry about you marrying him.

    August 5, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Josh

    I'm a man and I want to play in the WNBA. So if they don't let me, they aren't giving me my equal rights. That's discrimination! They need to change the definition of the WNBA to include men. Maybe this judge will help me. What a joke.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. James M

    CNN is biased!!

    August 5, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mitch W

      so is fox. there is no such thing as unbiased news in this country

      August 6, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Derek

    So for 5000 of recorded human history a marriage is between one man and one woman. Sources can be found on almost every continent on the globe, to support this claim. Now at this point in history we allow a minority amount of people to change the meaning of a word. We walk a dangerous line by allowing this to happen. We open our selves up for the definition of all sacred words to be changed – what if the word freedom, was changed to mean something else wouldn't people be up in arms. And why stop there if it is a right to choose your partner they why not multiple partners. We pass laws on legal ages but that is discrimination in and of itself at its very definition. So people if you want to add a new word to the dictionary that means joining, or union or whatever i'm all for it, to force the definition of a word to be changed, that is a way bigger issues that one day will come back to haunt every American and person on this planet. remember words have power!!!

    August 5, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Derek

    So for 5000 of recorded human history a marriage is between one man and one woman. Sources can be found on almost every continent on the globe, to support this claim. Now at this point in history we allow a minority amount of people to change the meaning of a word. We walk a dangerous line by allowing this to happen. We open our selves up for the definition of all sacred words to be changed – what if the word freedom, was changed to mean something else wouldn't people be up in arms. And why stop there if it is a right to choose your partner they why not multiple partners. We pass laws on legal ages but that is discrimination in and of itself at its very definition. So people if you want to add a new word to the dictionary that means joining, or union or whatever i'm all for it, to force the definition of a word to be changed, that is a way bigger issues that one day will come back to haunt every American and person on this planet

    August 5, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cindy

    Please stop comparing what African Americans went through to what is going on now. African Americian people were born black and hated because of their skin. Being gay is a choice no one came to their homeland and forced them into slavery, "freed" them, and then tried to keep them separatefrom eveyone else. As far as gay marriage goes call it something else with the same rights and move on.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • DarthWoo

      And for your part, please stop propagating the fantasy that being gay is a choice. It seems highly improbable that so many people through history would just up and choose to be so in the face of discrimination at best, murder at worst. I believe that the only reason that outright violence against gays hasn't been as widespread throughout history is that through bitter cognitive dissonance and resulting depression, gays can hide what they are far better than anyone of color could. They should not have to hide. Some of history's greatest minds have been gay, and have still suffered for it. Alan Turing, a man who possibly contributed a crushing intelligence defeat to Germany by breaking the Enigma code was prosecuted for indecency just for being what he was. After everything he had contributed to the war effort, as well as science in general, he was merely cast aside and forced to undergo chemical castration. He killed himself soon after. The sad part is that fundamentalist hate-mongers try to turn things around and say that being gay causes depression and suicide, not the discrimination and atmosphere of hatred.

      August 5, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • LIFE AND LIBERTY

      Hey Cindy

      Since you think being gay is a choice.
      I want to know when you MADE the choice to be straight ???

      Please give me an honest answer.

      August 5, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Safaa5

    So many of you are totally missing the whole point....legalizing gay marriage is part of the "gay agenda". WAKE UP if gay marriage gets approved then we will see teaching in the schools to our young innocent kids.....it's already happening in Massachusetts with kids reading "King and King" fairy tale. This is not about choice of lifestyle issue/civil rights/equality etc....the gay activists are liars/cons. Part of their agenda is to use the marriage card to eventually get to the schools!

    August 5, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • DarthWoo

      Oh heaven forbid that children learn that gay people exist and that there is nothing wrong with it other than that some antiquated religions believe it is icky. I guess it must be like that black agenda that Disney is helping to further with movies like The Princess and the Frog.

      August 5, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. rainbows

    Everything god creates.................DIES.
    So much for perfection.

    August 5, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. LIFE AND LIBERTY

    Woman are not going back into the kitchen
    barefoot and pregnant.

    Blacks are not going back to the end of the bus.

    Gays are not going back into the closet.

    WELCOME TO THE REAL AMERICA !!!!!!!

    August 5, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. The truth is

    Reply to Atheism

    The truth is: I also seriously thought God doesn't exist . . . . . I did say much, if all that that being said here that "religion is complete crap, ignorant, bigot morons" I was failed too by religion many times over – but
    1.) Knowing that Jesus was also was rejected by religion of his time (the Pharisee) – So religion also failed Jesus himself (Jesus)
    2) I did say ignorant, bigot thoughts with my friends – Knowing that at the time judgment my friends will not be there and they can not save me.

    The truth is: Religion all failed us . . . all (you, me and the son of God himself) . . . . . . . now we must accept the fact that you and I must not depend on religion, since both you and I have personally proven evidence that religion has a reputation of failing . . . .

    The truth is: Jesus death change all the rules:
    You don't need religion-proven failure, You and I need Jesus- he never fails

    After accepting a free unconditional (come as you are) gift of salvation, you are made free from the penalties of sins and called upon to be imitator of Jesus (to do what Jesus did)

    That's way too cool offer to past up – I challenge you read entire book of Mark and Luke to see acts he did.

    August 5, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • DarthWoo

      Is it even necessary to say that it is a tautology to use the Bible as proof of itself?

      August 5, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Draconis

      The truth is- At last a person who states his ways without hate, I don't agree with you I am a child of the Aesir. But know that you have my respect.

      August 6, 2010 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
  13. Evidence

    Reply to All

    Listen to the logic necessitate for God’s existence. Is It Actually, No?
    [audio src="http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ligonier/CPvq/~5/HT1dc4H3mE0/rym20100417.mp3" /]

    Send this link to your friends:
    all feedback are welcome . . . . . thanks

    August 5, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Margaret S

    Your body goes into the ground when you die, but your spirit lives on forever,either with the Lord if you've accepted Him as Lord and Savior or seperated from Him forever. You don't get another chance after you die. The Bible says there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Thionk about it.

    August 5, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billy

      I Thionk about it every day.

      August 6, 2010 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  15. Stephen

    she's a stupid B**ch

    August 5, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
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