This is a victory for the American people; it’s a victory for our justice system.
That’s attorney Ted Olson, commenting on Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling, released yesterday, that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional and violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection. Watch more of his remarks below (h/t, Joe. My. God.):
It is surely among the most personal and profound wins for our community. Judge Walkerâ€™s ruling eviscerates the baseless and empty arguments of our opponents. Walker found that there was simply no credible, rational, believable, or persuasive reason to take the right to marry away from same-sex couples. Our opponents had a team of very fine lawyers, and at the end of the trial, the evidence they presented in support of Prop 8 made abundantly clear that other than discomfort or hostility, there is no justifiable basis for excluding us from the same right to marry thatâ€™s enjoyed by every other couple in this country.
There’s a blizzard of coverage of this — or so it seems, from the media I watch; seven of the top ten “keywords” tracked on Twitter last night had to do with this verdict. An eloquent New York Times editorial appeared that very afternoon: “Marriage is a Constitutional Right.”
There’s much more to say than I have time for here; still more to be read all over the internet elsewhere. I will say this, though: there are many battles to fight in the larger struggle for LGBT civil rights. Â But given the meticulous care with which Judge Walker dismantled the substantiations for legal discrimination against LGBT people, this win will ramify far and wide. I can’t imagine its impact will be felt only in the arena of marriage law. As many have said, regardless of its fate at the Federal District Court of Appeals level (next up), and the Supreme Court, should they decide to hear it (next after that), Walker provided “findings of fact” regarding our social treatment, our lack of social harm, and our consequent need for equal protection that simply become legal precedent. For that, I am extremely extremely grateful.
Take a look at the decision yourself. As Dr. Maddow said on her show last night, it makes great reading, probably better than the novel you’re reading right now. Or (I’m happy to add, today) the blog.