The U.S. Supreme Court this morning dismissed California's Prop 8 case, clearing the way for gay marriage to resume. On a historic day for marriage equality, the Supremes earlier announced the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which does not recognize gay marriages, is unconstitutional.
"Today, the voices of our community and our allies have been heard and justice has prevailed," says Rodney Scott, president of Christopher Street West that produces annual LA PRIDE events.
"We celebrate the fact that marriage in California will soon again be an institution for all loving couples who are looking to join into a committed and loving relationship recognized by the state and protected by the law," Scott continues. "This has been a long and emotional fight, one based on basic human rights and one based on love. This is not, nor has it ever been about special treatment for the LGBT community but about basic human rights. This is truly a day of celebration and while we should embrace this triumphant win, we celebrate knowing that there are still battles ahead in the fight for true equality."
No matter how the rulings went, a coalition of OC LGBT groups and their allies planned to gather at the Old Orange County Courthouse at 6:30 p.m. today for a rally.
"We will gather [this] evening in Santa Ana to, we hope, celebrate, but more than anything, to come together as a community in times of great accomplishment or strife," read the press release from the Orange County Equality Coalition. "Let's show Orange County, California, and this country that we are here."
Chief Justice John Roberts read the 5-4 opinion that found Prop 8 backers did not have the legal right to challenge the lower court reversal of the voter initiative because the original case was directed not at them but California's governor and attorney general. Those state officials chose against mounting defenses of Prop 8, which defined marriage as being between one man and one woman.
This was the outcome UC Irvine School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky predicted back in 2010.
The legal merits of Prop 8, the 2008 anti-gay marriage initiative funded by a hell of a lot OC rich guys and pushed from the pulpits by virtually every Christian denomination in OC save for the cool ones ... wasn't decided on with today's opinion. That means another federal judge's ruling overturning the referendum stands, meaning gay marriage is legal in California.
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In the 5-4 DOMA ruling, the brief said "DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty."
Despite the court's ruling, you know this issue ain't going to go anywhere soon. More--much more--to come throughout the day...