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

'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. de

    I think this guy knows.

    August 5, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • patsy


      August 5, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • patsy


      August 5, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • me

      Jesus and Penis. LOL

      August 5, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • CuteKate

      Oh Patsy, one day you'll die and be sitting in pasta sauce dressed as a pirate and then you'll really be sorry you didn't believe in the Giant Spaghetti Monster.

      August 5, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • sp4l

      @Patsy, gotta love the South Park reference!

      August 6, 2010 at 2:30 am | Report abuse |
  2. Yush

    Tim, wat's the deal about Jesus being Jewish or not. Does he have to be a specific religion for you to accept him as GOD ?

    August 5, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Str8Athiest

    Not sure what the big deal is here... Doesn't make me any less married if gays have that ability as well. Why can't we just live and let live? I don't care what anyone does if it doesn't affect me.

    August 5, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Zack


    If voting mattered they wouldn't let us do it. I'm just sick of the two-faced nature of the system. Sick and tired. Everything's a lie. Everything is pointless. What a shame. I figure we'd be done away all together if they didn't need us to row the paddles from the bowels.

    August 5, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. KH

    So I'm wondering … if marriage is not to be allowed by all consenting adults who may want to marry but can’t, does that mean that those same consenting, taxpaying adults that are denied the right of their peers will now be exempt form paying the social security tax? I mean if there are benefits in that system to SPOUSES, then it would seem to me that they wouldn’t have to pay that since they are excluded from the a portion of the benefits. Or maybe they just pay a prorated amount based on their inability to receive the benefit that marriage brings.

    Oh, and you will need to change all the insurance laws about spouses or somehow subsidize the people who are not allowed to have a marital benefit of reduced premiums and pay higher premiums as a single person. And don’t forget, we would need to eliminate that Federal Tax break for those MARRIED filing jointly folks. If marriage is going to be all through our economic and tax system, then it needs to be fair right? Or laws and rules that exclude a group maybe shouldn’t apply to a group?

    Or marriage needs to be a strictly religious ceremony conducted in ones own church and have no impact in the world outside. (i.e. you know, all those little boxes that say married / divorced / single that can give you all sorts of financial advantages if you currently conform to the loudest set of voices.)

    August 5, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. USMCveteren

    Funny how quickly U liberals make this a religion bashing. Whether or not u believe in god makes no difference. He is very real,and one day ALL of U will kneel before him and be judged. JESUS IS the ONLY way to salvation. There is tons of proof out there, you are just too stubborn and ignorant to see it. I am very much against gay marriage, we obviously were not created to go together like that. Try putting something together using only the bolts, or only the nuts. Doesn't work does it, maybe because they weren't made to go together. HMMMMMM. It is pathetic to say, oh you are against gay marriage, so you are a biggot. Just like how all youliberals think that anyone that didn't vote for NOBAMA is a racist. Just shows your ignorance. Right now though we all need to be focusing on the illegal immigrant situation, it is a huge problem for all americans, no matter what race, religion, etc...

    August 5, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • duckman

      You will meet him as well, except I have nothing to hide from if that day ever comes. You, on the other hand, will have to argue with the lives you ended in your service with the corp. Ten commandments, right? Or do they not apply to you? Killing is killing, for freedom or not. Can't have it both ways, chump.

      August 5, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • CuteKate

      Obama is half white and half black – just who do you think he's racist against?

      Do you yahoos ever make sense? Is there a point to you being on the internet at all?

      August 5, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Dog

      Spoken like a true mindless jarhead. We should all be worrying about fixing our economy and our resources and stop worrying about some poor slob that escaped his corrupt country to fulfill his dream job and wash the dishes at Denny's so you can enjoy your grand slam.

      August 5, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ManBoyLover

    Hi everyone! I'm a full grown man and my partner is a small boy. We want to get married! We're next right?

    I mean every is equal so we have right too? Also I have a buddy who's in love with his horse and they have rights too? It's all about equality right? Anyone here that says it's all about equality absolutely CANNOT now say I can't marry my small boy partner! You better not!

    nambla is a wonderful organization and we cannot wait for our turn! Remember when blacks didn't have equal rights and then someday soon gays and then it's OUR TURN! You guys ready for this?

    I can't wait! Finally my boy and I will be able to be happy! I expect everyone here to protest any ruling that says we can't get married. Same with people and animals, people with blow up dolls – oh wait what about polygomy? Where does it end?

    I'm so happy right now i'm almost in tears....thanks everyone for agreeing with this ruling and finally opening a door for us!

    August 5, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • FedUp

      Apparently, the only time racism is acknowledged is when someone wants to validate their point. I'm am truly sorry that this country is giving gays a hard time, but the comparison has to stop. Its not the same. If blacks even considered walking in some of your neighborhoods, we'd be stopped, arrested – then questioned and maybe released. Completely different story.

      August 5, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miguel in NY

      You are an idiot

      August 5, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • owen

      Nice try. Nobody is going to take this bait. The state has a very compelling reason to restrict that of children. Get caught with a little boy, get some soap on a rope and try to shower alone in prison.

      August 5, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Frank

    This decision is one of the best examples of the judicial system in America gone mad I have seen. The principles of this country have their foundation in morality and responsibility. This decision is void of either. America is loosing its moral compass and with it any hope for a meaningful future. I hope that we come to our senses before it is to late. Civil rights have nothing to do with the definition of marriage. A civil union is within the power of laws and courts to define. Marriage has been defined by mankind for centuries as the union of one man and one woman as the foundation of a family. That definition is above any one country or its set of laws and is accepted by most cultures throughout the world. You can no more change its meaning than you can the meaning of husband or wife.

    August 5, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Dog

      According to the Old Testament a wife was the property of the husband which makes the ceremony a transfer of property to the husband from the father. You are defending a business transaction.

      August 5, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Nick

    an awfully negative bi-product of blogs is how rude people are on them. Could you imagine if people having face to face conversations were this rude? Its the age of cowardice and rudeness. Nice attributes of this generation.

    August 5, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jared

    Judge Walker is openly gay, of course he's going to overturn the Proposition! Don't believe me, check his Bio on Wikipedia
    What's the point of voting if it's just going to be thrown out by a biased judge?

    August 5, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. brett

    I highly enjoyed reading all these comments. It makes me really happy how upset the bigots are. Very cathartic.

    August 5, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Matt

    Any religious argument given as a counter to gay marriage is irrelevant. Let the Fundies gnash their teeth and shake their fists...they are on the wrong side of history and do not contribute anything usefull to society at large. For those who argue that the "will of the people" has been undermined by an "activist judge"; President Lincoln did the same thing with the Emancipation Proclaimation....except on a much more extreme scale.

    August 5, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ivan Sanchez

    Gays do not benefit society; it stains the fabric our forefathers created for this nation 'Moral principles'!
    ACLU has done greater harm than good condoning immorally in this great nation! Because of their corruption America is divided and heading toward Gehenna!
    The government needs to crackdown on ACLU and wipe it off the face of the earth!

    August 5, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Buzz Lightyear

    CNN infotainment is the worst in the whole world @yush-did u know baby jesus had immaculate poop? no smell!
    @billy-I have faith in the mood atering power of my .45

    August 5, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Noein

    Religion or no religion ... bible or no bible .... morals or no morals .... God or no God .... I'll never accept or support it. Don't come to me & disrespecting me for I have not attacked anybody ... this IMO ... may you all have a great day.

    August 5, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
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