Prop. 8 Ruling: The Reactions

BY Advocate.com Editors

August 04 2010 4:00 PM ET

California's gay speaker of the assembly John Perez: "Judge Walker’s thoughtful, eloquent decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger
is a powerful validation of our nation’s tradition of full equality in
the eyes of the law. This is a decision which reaffirms the principles
and ideals enshrined in our Constitution and only serves to underscore
the fact that recognition of full equality for LGBT Americans is simply a
matter of time. I also want to express my congratulations to the legal
team of David Boies and Ted Olson as well as Therese Stewart and Dennis
Herrera representing the City and County of San Francisco for their
brilliant, inspiring and historic arguments in this case. They have won a
major victory on behalf of our Constitution and LGBT Americans
everywhere." 

New York City council speaker Christine Quinn: "Not just a win
for same-sex couples in California; it’s a victory for all of those who
believe in full equality for all Americans." 

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: "Judge Walker had the great responsibility of deciding whether Proposition 8 violates the Constitution of the United States. He heard in-depth arguments from both sides on fundamental questions of due process, equal protection, and freedom from discrimination. There are strong feelings on both sides of this issue, and I am glad that all viewpoints were respected throughout the proceedings. We should also recognize that there will continue to be different points of view in the wake of this decision. For the hundreds of thousands of Californians in gay and lesbian households who are managing their day-to-day lives, this decision affirms the full legal protections and safeguards I believe everyone deserves. At the same time, it provides an opportunity for all Californians to consider our history of leading the way to the future, and our growing reputation of treating all people and their relationships with equal respect and dignity. Today's decision is by no means California's first milestone, nor our last, on America's road to equality and freedom for all people."

Judy Shepard:
"These plaintiffs are law-abiding, family-oriented, tax-paying citizens
whose privacy was invaded, and whose dignity was affronted, by a
misguided and unconstitutional law. Their victory at trial shows that
our courts still play a vital role in safeguarding the rights of
minorities from majorities who misunderstand them. But more importantly,
it proves the power of personal stories. Equal marriage rights are
ultimately about people’s families, and during the trial, their personal
need for legal recognition of their relationships came through loud and
clear. After Matt came out to me, he once asked me if I thought gay
couples would ever be allowed to get married. I told
him I didn’t think it would happen in my lifetime, but it probably
would in his. It’s so sad, and ironic, that it turned out the other way.
But this case warms my heart, to think that his dream is still coming
true."

Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese:
"After hearing extensive evidence in support of marriage equality, and
essentially no defense of the discrimination wrought by Prop. 8, Judge
Walker reached the same conclusion we have always known to be true — the
Constitution’s protections are for all Americans, including the
lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. We thank the
courageous plaintiff couples, the American Foundation for Equal Rights,
and attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies for their tremendous efforts
leading to today’s decision and their ongoing commitment as the case
moves forward on appeal. The battle for marriage equality continues, and
we must all continue our work — in courthouses and statehouses, in
church pews and living rooms — until equality is reality for LGBT people
and our families everywhere."  

Britney Spears: "So happy! Today is a great day for love and equality. Congrats California!"

Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: "Californians knows that marriage is a civil right, not a privilege. Love does not discriminate."

Tim Wildmon,
president of the antigay American Family Association: "This is a
tyrannical, abusive and utterly unconstitutional display of judicial
arrogance. Judge Walker has turned ‘We the People’ into ‘I the
Judge.’It’s inexcusable for him to deprive the citizens of California of
their right to govern themselves, and cavalierly trash the will of over
seven million voters. This case never should even have entered his
courtroom. The federal constitution nowhere establishes marriage policy,
which means under the 10th Amendment that issue is reserved for the
states. It’s also extremely problematic that Judge Walker is a
practicing homosexual himself. He should have recused himself from this
case, because his judgment is clearly compromised by his own sexual
proclivity. The fundamental issue here is whether homosexual conduct,
with all its physical and psychological risks, should be promoted and
endorsed by society. That’s why the people and elected officials
accountable to the people should be setting marriage policy, not a
black-robed tyrant whose own lifestyle choices make it impossible to
believe he could be impartial. His situation is no different than a
judge who owns a porn studio being asked to rule on an anti-pornography
statute. He’d have to recuse himself on conflict of interest grounds,
and Judge Walker should have done that. The Constitution says judges
hold office ‘during good Behavior.’ Well, this ruling is bad behavior —
in fact, it’s very, very bad behavior - and we call on all members of
the House of Representatives who respect the Constitution to launch
impeachment proceedings against this judge."

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