As anyone who listens to the news is aware, Federal Judge Vaughn Walker has ruled in Perry et al v. Schwarzenegger et al in California today, and for the first time in quite some time, I feel like the America I live in is becoming a little bit more like the America that I aspire for it to be.
The ruling can be read here (it’s a .pdf) and starting on page 109 Judge Walker provides some of the most profoundly rational and reasonable findings I’ve come across in a federal ruling in a long time. I’ve read the entire finding, and I encourage anyone to do the same. It’s very approachable, and draws clear and reasonable conclusions. Judge Vaughn will be excoriated as an “activist judge” by many on the losing side of this finding (which is hardly a risky prophecy given the love of some groups to trot out that phrase at the drop of a hat) and I honestly encourage people to take 10 minutes and read what the judge has to say, and read why he makes the decisions he makes. It’s not a difficult read, just 25 pages of double-spaced, courier font goodness. This is the essence of how America works.
I’m not a political blogger, nor am I a law blogger, nor am I an LGBT-issues blogger…nor am I a member of any of the classes of people that are directly affected by this ruling…but I am affected by the spirit of this ruling. I have family that will be affected by this ruling. I have children who will live and love and marry in an American legal landscape decided by the ultimate Supreme Court review of this ruling. I can only hope and pray that the Supreme Court of the United States gets it as right as Judge Walker got it today.
The conclusions of Judge Walker’s ruling:
Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.