Prop. 8 Ruling: The Reactions

BY Advocate.com Editors

August 04 2010 5:00 PM ET

Wisconsin congresswoman Tammy Baldwin: "We live in a democracy wherein majority rule is checked and balanced by the guarantee of inalienable minority rights. This case, as it wends its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, presents jurists with fundamental questions about minority rights and majority rule. I believe Judge Walker got it right, declaring that denial of marriage rights and protections to gay and lesbian citizens violates the Constitution even if it reflects the will of the majority of Californians."

Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation president Jarrett Barrios: "More and more Americans are supporting equality, and it is the stories of same-sex couples that are leading that charge across the nation. Today's decision comes after same-sex couples from across California shared their personal stories with Judge Vaughn Walker and the public, helping to show that all loving and committed couples — straight and gay — should have the same opportunity to take care of and be responsible for each other. We urge media to highlight the couples impacted by today's decision to grant them the liberty and equality upon which our nation was founded." 

Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders attorney Mary Bonauto: "GLAD's case and Perry seek to cure two important but different injustices.  Gill is not a right-to-marry case, since we represent couples who are already married. Rather, it is a case about federal recognition, challenging DOMA's denial of these marriages for purposes of all federal laws. DOMA is synonymous with disapproval of gay people and our families, and we seek to end Congress's different treatment of married people based simply on sexual orientation."

U.S. senator Barbara Boxer: “This historic decision is a step forward in the march toward equal rights and reflects a growing legal consensus that marriage equality is protected by the U.S. Constitution.” 

National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown: “Big surprise! We expected nothing different from Judge Vaughn Walker, after the biased way he conducted this trial. With a stroke of his pen, Judge Walker has overruled the votes and values of 7 million Californians who voted for marriage as one man and one woman. This ruling, if allowed to stand, threatens not only Prop. 8 in California but the laws in 45 other states that define marriage as one man and one woman."

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force executive director Rea Carey: "This ruling marks a victory for loving, committed couples who want nothing more than the same rights and security as other families. From the start, this has been about basic fairness. Today we celebrate the affirmation of this fundamental principle; tomorrow we are back out there sharing our personal stories and having conversations with Californians and people all across the country about why this matters and who we are. The tide is turning nationwide in favor of marriage equality, but our work is far from over. Today’s ruling is just a beginning step in what will likely be a long process, yet we are confident that fairness will prevail. Our conversations are breaking down barriers and helping to transform our country."

Singer Rosanne Cash: "I really don't care who anybody marries. It's none of my business who you fall in love with. I'm just happy if you fall in love."

Dan Choi: "Absolutely a victory today for a lot of the people who fought so hard not only in California but around the country. It’s a victory for people who refuse to take injustice lying down. When I first got involved with the heroes at the American Foundation for Equal Rights and a lot of the other groups that were supporting the plaintiffs in the case, I saw undaunted courage and that is what we celebrate today. A lot of people who said 'Don’t do this.' Certainly the fight isn’t over, and here in D.C. we’re gonna see it eventually at the Supreme Court building and we’re gonna continue supporting our fellow fighters for full equality, whether it’s marriage or employment or service in the military, donating blood, or any other of the very important things that we have to fight for. We should learn that it’s only the people who refuse second-class citizenship and injustice that will be rewarded. It’s only the people who will stand up and fight that will get their dignity reclaimed. We can learn that and apply the same lessons and have the same kind of writ and fighting spirit when we fight for immigration rights for our partners to this country just like straight couples. I know that it will have significant impact and contributions and benefits to the other struggles as well, not just on a momentum building level, but it will show legally that our Constitution in no way justifies unequal protection or denial of access to equal rights and resources like recognition of love and the acknowledgment of relationships and families or the access to our own integrity. I think today it’s not just gay people who won, but straight people and all people who live under our Constitution. The Constitution is not just 'we the people who happen to be straight' or 'we the people who happen to be born here' or 'we the people who are white or male.' It really is 'we the people.' All people are deserving of that equal access to the promise of America."

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