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A federal appeals court in California declared the infamous Proposition 8, a ban on same-sex marriage that received a slight majority (52 percent) of the popular vote in 2008, to be unconstitutional on Tuesday.  The inevitable next stop for this case is the United States Supreme Court.  A loss for Proposition 8 supporters would ensure that only half a generation of California’s youth, namely those existing between 2008 – 2014, were raised in the midst of a jovial same-sex marriage-free era, and all within the moral bedrock of California (dry, dry sarcasm).

Immediately following the decision, Republican Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich scoffed at California’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Romney released a statement “Today, unelected judges cast aside the will of the people of California [52 percent] who voted to protect traditional marriage…”

In a similar statement Gingrich added “The Constitution of the United States begins with ‘We the People’; it does not begin with ‘We the Judges.’ ”

The candidates feel they are defending the will (52 percent) of the people, though is this not the ideal situation for our justice system to intervene? When threatened against the opinion of a mob that intends to target and strip away the constitutional rights of a minority, this particular ruling is a product of the safeguard built into our system that was designed to preserve the civil liberties of US citizens.  Being able to marry the person that one loves is surely protected under the auspices of our inalienable right to the “pursuit of happiness.”

Some argue that this ruling should be dismissed because Judge Vaughn Walker, who presided over this particular case, was himself involved in a long-term same sex relationship, thus he had something to gain.  To address the validity of this argument I present a parallel case.

Imagine that current Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was an appeals court judge in the famed Murray v. Maryland case, which sought to allow an African-American student (Donald Murray) into the University of Maryland School of Law that was accepting only whites at the time.  Should Justice Thomas have been disqualified under the suspicion that he had something to gain from the civil rights case, i.e., should a white judge have been intentionally assigned in his place?


I suspect few to believe that a judge should be dismissed from a case on the basis of skin color, thus few should also expect a judge to be dismissed on the basis of sexual orientation.

Whether proponents of Proposition 8 feel that they are right in protecting the “will of the people” (52 percent), or whether they feel cheated that a gay judge overturned their attempt to protect California’s youth from the bastardization of marriage, let it be known that their Judgment Day is rapidly approaching. Indeed, the inevitability of change will soon cast aside an irrelevant older generation, whose ignorant beliefs and outdated fears have cast a temporary shadow on our society’s pursuit of The American Dream.

They did not and will not sustain this fight.  A younger, more tolerant generation – in schools, in communities, in businesses, and in government – has already begun to repeal and replace these century-old beliefs. And the pages of history will record each vote cast to support the infringement of individual liberty by the quickly shrinking majority (52 percent) toward the rapidly growing minority, counteracting the very idea of America that aims to create a land built on the virtue of tolerance.

Published by on 2/8/2012

By Brian T. Murphy

California 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejects same-sex marriage ban, declares Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

Proposition 8 was Gay Anyways

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