Judge Vaughn Walker of the Northern District of California has just issued a ruling against Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California. Enacted by California voters, Prop 8 was a response to an earlier California Supreme Court ruling which held that gay marriage was protected by California's constitution. Prop 8 had attempted to circumvent that previous ruling by amending California's constitution to explicitly ban marriage by same-sex couples.
Judge Walker's opinion states that Proposition 8 failed to advance any rational basis to support a ban on gay marriage, and merely enshrined the idea that heterosexual marriages are superior to gay marriages -- something legally impermissible under the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process. Supporters of Proposition 8 have already vowed to appeal.
Judge Walker's ruling contained an injunction against Proposition 8, a move that would block enforcement of the law. However, the judge also issued a temporary stay of the injunction while he decides whether to suspend his ruling during the appeal process. Gay marriages cannot resume in California until the judge's stay is lifted.
California Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional; New Marriages on Hold