Wednesday, August 11, 2010

An Excellent Analysis of Judge Walker's ruling

Click on the link below to read an excellent analysis of the Judge Walker's ruling striking down Prop 8 in California. His decision is well reasoned and inspirational to those of us who have been fighting for equality of all persons regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

"Prop 8 relied solely on the will of the voter, but did not consider historical precedent or constitutional requirements in shaping policy regarding the status of the civil marriage contract in California. The proponents of Prop 8 failed to present any evidence that honoring same-sex couples’ right to marry would cause harm of any kind to any entity.

In fact, it appears the arguments presented by proponents of the Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage actually support the standing judicial precedent and existing legal protections that eliminate gender bias as a condition of civil marriage:

33. Eliminating gender and race restrictions in marriage has not deprived the institution of marriage of its vitality.

a. PX0707 at RFA No 13: Proponents admit that eliminating the doctrine of coverture has not deprived marriage of its vitality and importance as a social institution;

b. PX0710 at RFA No 13: Attorney General admits that gender-based reforms in civil marriage law have not deprived marriage of its vitality and importance as a social institution;

c. Tr 245:9-247:3 (Cott: “[T]he primacy of the husband as the legal and economic representative of the couple, and the protector and provider for his wife, was seen as absolutely essential to what marriage was” in the nineteenth century. Gender restrictions were slowly removed from marriage, but “because there were such alarms about it and such resistance to change in this what had been seen as quite an essential characteristic of marriage, it took a very very long time before this trajectory of the removal of the state from prescribing these rigid spousal roles was complete.” The removal of gender inequality in marriage is now complete “to no apparent damage to the institution. And, in fact, I think to the benefit of the institution.”)

Again, that gender bias cannot fit into the current legal definition of the marriage contract, that this is well-established law and that the requirement that gender bias not be part of a marriage contract or of its dissolution is consistently upheld by judicial process, would seem to indicate that there is no legitimate legal foundation for the claims of public interest made by proponents of the ban on same-sex marriage. "