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Court Finds Due Process Violated by Same Sex Marriage Prohibition — Perry v. Schwarzenegger

The U.S. District Court held tha California’s same sex marriage prohibition violated the Constitution. In an important civil rights decision, the Court held that Proposition 8, which stated: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California” violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process and equal protection clauses.

“Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians. The evidence shows conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples. FF 76, 79-80; Romer, 517 US at 634 (“[L]aws of the kind now before us raise the inevitable inference that the disadvantage imposed is born of animosity toward the class of persons
affected.”) Because Proposition 8 disadvantages gays and lesbians without any rational justification, Proposition 8 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

CONCLUSION

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.

See Perry v. Schwarzenegger: