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Aug-04-2010 21:15printcommentsVideo

California's Prop 8 Overturned by Federal Judge

Civil rights advocates spent the day giving each other high fives!

Prop 8
Photo by: Jeff Sheng, outside of the Proposition 8 arguments before the California Supreme Court 3/5/09.

(Northern District of California) - A federal judge ruled Wednesday that California's Prop 8 is unconstitutional. The ruling in the federal trial challenging California's ban on marriage for same-sex couples held that it's unconstitutional to have one set of laws for some Californians and another for others.

Basic Rights Oregon applauds the news that a federal judge has ruled California's ban unconstitutional in barring marriage for same-sex couples.

Basic Rights Oregon Executive Director Jeana Frazzini issued these statements, "This decision is encouraging and adds to the growing momentum here in our own state for the freedom to marry. We are making progress day by day through conversations, one Oregonian to another.

"Committed couples, whether they are gay or straight, hope to marry for similar reasons - to make a lifetime promise to share the joys and sorrows that life brings. The judge's ruling reflects the growing consensus that there is simply no good reason to exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage. Our state will be stronger when all committed couples can marry the person they love.

"While we join in feeling encouraged by such progress, we know that there is far to go for the freedom to marry; the ruling is expected to be held up on appeal for some time.

"Here in Oregon, we're making progress every single day by encouraging conversations one Oregonian to another about why marriage matters. Volunteers are already leading the way, talking about the issue at public events, on the doorstep, over kitchen tables, at church picnics and more.

"And for the first time since 2004 we are running ads across the state aimed at building support for the freedom to marry. Take a look at the ad (below) - and share with the people in your life.

"We have long known that regardless of what happens in the courts - our work must not let up. We have to achieve equal access to civil marriage in Oregon.

"Marriage is a lifelong promise of love and responsibility with the recognition and accountability of family, friends and the greater community. Our state will be stronger when all committed couples - gay and straight - can marry the person they love," said Jeana Frazzini.

"It's a prophetic moment when all loving families are recognized, honored and celebrated," said Rabbi James Greene of Temple Beth Sholom and Chair of the Board of Directors for the Community of Welcoming Congregations.

"This is the day that God has made, let us rejoice in it," he continues.

The Rev. Dr. Brooks Brandt of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Vancouver said, "For my church, the court's ruling is a celebration, a moment in which our values are reflected in the policies and decisions of our country."

The Rev. Natasha Brubaker-Garrison, priest at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Eugene concurs, "I am delighted by Judge Walker's ruling. His decision lives into the spirit of our country where there is equal protection for us all."

The Rev. Dana Worsnop, minister at Atkinson Memorial Church in Oregon City states, "As a Unitarian Universalist and as a human being, I am thrilled that more and more people are seeing more and more clearly that the right to marry who we love is a basic human right. When two people who love each other choose to marry, something new and holy arises in the world."

The Rev. Tara Wilkins, a United Church of Christ minister and executive director of the Community of Welcoming Congregations declares, "This is a victory for all those who work on the front lines to ensure equality. As a Christian, I must stand on the side of love, while insisting on justice.

"Civil marriage is separate from religious marriage and should not be denied for religious reasons."

Watch the "Marriage Equality" ad below:

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Ryan August 6, 2010 12:32 pm (Pacific time)

This does not deal with slavery or holding people without due process, or some other arbritary laws based on race, this is about something the voters in every state where they have voted on this matter have voted it down. I believe close to 20 states have voted gay marriage down, no state has voted for it to be legal.It has only been through the court system that bypassed the will of the people that it's been legalized. Frankly I could care less who marries who, but there have been other issues that I voted on that passed and them some lone ranger federal judge dismissed our vote. Subsequently he was overturned, but at great expense and considerable time. Maybe the judge in this case should have recused himself for a conflict of interest. He is openly gay and has a mate of many years. I realize many of you may not find that objectionable, but he just ignored 7 million voters (the majority). I expect that this will resonate in the upcoming November elections. Good arguements on both sides, but this is about something that emotionally dwarfs the divisivness of abortion.

Vic August 6, 2010 5:55 am (Pacific time)

". Activist's judges are an absolute threat to America." Not as big a threat as hatemongering, self-righteous bigots who think they have the right and the wisdom to dictate to other people how they should live their lives.

Re: Anonymous August 5, 2010 9:58 pm (Pacific time)

Where is the Constitutional right for many of our freedoms. Every right could not be spelled out, segregation isn't mentioned in the Constitution either but if you believe in that practice I do not consider you worth arguing with.

Glen August 5, 2010 6:43 am (Pacific time)

I don't see how Americans can tolerate two different sets of rules or privileges for its citizens based on arbitrary distinctions. People have the right to marry or they don't. America went through a bloody civil war based on divisions of rights and privileges based on skin color.

Ralph E. Stone August 5, 2010 5:25 pm (Pacific time)

Oftentimes the courts are the last resort to right a wrong. Society's mores change over time. Remember, slavery and segregation were once legal. At one time, women could not vote and blacks and whites were not allowed to marry. And during World War II, many Japanese were sent to concentration camps. The list of wrongs corrected goes on and on. These wrongs were finally acknowledged and changed by the courts or the legislature. Judge Vaughn merely righted a wrong by overturning the ban on same-sex couple marriage.

Anonymous August 5, 2010 8:28 am (Pacific time)

Facinating how our Founders, courts, Congresses, Presidents missed this for well over 200 years, that Gay marriage is a Constitutional right. It probably guarantees a Republican sweep in the Fall election, and quite possibly even the weakening of the Democrat lock on not just California's Hispanics who are very socially conservative. Also blacks in Califonia voted (70%) against gay marriage. Where in The Constitution is marriage mentioned? There is no constitutional right to marriage. Activist's judges are an absolute threat to America.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.


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