It’s a bright new day in California, as the federal appeals court on Tuesday declared that the same-sex marriage ban implemented in 2010 is unconstitutional.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that a lower court judge correctly interpreted the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedents when he declared in 2010 that Proposition 8 was a violation of the civil rights of gays and lesbians.
According to the Associated Press, the court ruling stated that:
"Although the Constitution permits communities to enact most laws they believe to be desirable, it requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently. There was no such reason that Proposition 8 could have been enacted."
It was unclear when gay marriages might resume in California, however lawyers for the two couples who successfully sued to overturn the ban have repeatedly said they would consider appealing to a larger panel of the court and then the U.S. Supreme Court if they did not receive a favorable ruling from the 9th Circuit.
Gays and lesbians were entitled to marry in California for six months after the California Supreme Court struck down a state ban in May 2008.
The state high court later upheld Proposition 8 as a valid amendment of the California Constitution.
Today’s ruling is likely to be limited to California. Either way, it's an important step in the right for direction for our gay brothers and sisters.