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Judge Vaughn Walker rules California's Prop 8 unconstitutional

Attorneys Jason Cobb and Jason Prussman were married in California while it was still legal.
Attorneys Jason Cobb and Jason Prussman were married in California while it was still legal.
(Photo courtesy of The GLBT Center of Colorado)

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Colorado (The Center) applauds the ruling today by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker that Proposition 8 in California is unconstitutional and should be repealed.

Walker ruled that California's ban on same-sex marriage violates the Constitution's equal protection and due process rights clauses.

"Although the battle for equality is far from over, this ruling shows it's unconstitutional to deny the LGBT community equal protection under the law," said Center Executive Director Carlos Martinez. "This should lead to a national standard instead of the patchwork of state laws we have now."

Martinez and his husband, Phil Danielson, were married in California in 2008, but that marriage is not legally recognized in Colorado.

Marriages between people of the same sex are not recognized in Colorado because of the state's constitutional amendment passed in 2006 defining marriage in this state to be between one man and one woman. Several laws passed in recent years do, however, provide some protections to LGBT Coloradans.

Jason Cobb and Jason Prussman were also married in California during the brief time such marriages could legally be entered into. Their son, Jacobb, was the ring bearer during their ceremony.

"This ruling is a huge step showing that separate is not equal and that marriage is a fundamental right in this country, not just for some, but for all people," said Jason Cobb. Both Cobb and Prussman are attorneys in the metro-Denver area and have followed the litigation in California closely.

Walker's decision is expected to be appealed to the Ninth Circuit and eventually the U.S. Supreme Court, but the legal challenges could take some time. "The litigation battle to overturn Amendment 2, the anti-gay ballot initiative that would have precluded protections at any level to protect LGBT Coloradans, took many years before ending with the correct result," Martinez said.

The opinion in that case, written by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Kennedy, famously stated:
"A State cannot so deem a class of persons a stranger to its laws."

Walker's decision is expected to be appealed to the Ninth Circuit and eventually the U.S. Supreme Court.

In May 2008, California's Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the equal right to marry under the state constitution. That decision was effectively overruled when Proposition 8 was approved by voters on Nov. 4, 2008 by a 52.3 percent to 47.7 percent margin. About 18,000 same-sex couples were married in California between June 17 and Nov. 4, 2008.

The day after the vote, three lawsuits challenging Proposition 8 were filed in the California Supreme Court.

The GLBT Community Center of Colorado is the only statewide, nonprofit community center dedicated to empowering and advancing Colorado's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender population. It serves as a catalyst for community organizing, support services, social activities and cultural events. To learn more about The Center, click here.


  • Baron Alexander 4 years ago

    GOD created ADAM AND EVE....these HOMOSEXUALS are NOT EQUIPPED to be A FATHER and MOTHER...partner one and partner two and their dildos for lesbians do not a MARRIAGE make!!!
    courtoisie de BARON Aexnader von Hjelman
    Part time VISITOR

  • Remigio 4 years ago

    The function of marriage is not solely for procreation, and while I respect your right to be religious, I don't believe anyone's faith should be used to subjugate an entire population of Americans. LGBT parents' sexuality does not impair their ability to love and nurture happy, well-adjusted children.

  • John Walsh 4 years ago

    Religion is for weak-minded idiots and superstitious peasants who smell like cabbage.

  • Remigio 4 years ago

    @ John Walsh: To be fair, there are a lot of Christians who are open and affirming towards the LGBT community. Plus, many gays and lesbians are active participants in their churches.

  • Bryan Keith 4 years ago

    Oh Idiot Vaughn - let any "Gay" (Scottish for happy NOT homosexual" male couple "Marry" and adopt some little boys so that they have a lot more "homosexual" fun as these "kids" grow. The entire concept is disgusting and boys need to be informed of their eventual appreciation of women before they are inducted into "Gay" operations. THAT IS THE REAL TRUTH!

  • Remigio 4 years ago

    @ Bryan Keith: Making a claim that gay couples raise gay children is interesting considering that most of us are raised by straight parents. The idea that homosexuality is acquired through some kind of "conversion" is absurd. Sexual orientation is an innate component of a person's identity, not a role that someone learns to play.

  • JR Bailey Casper Public Policy Examiner 4 years ago

    Hello there,

    Sadly, the pro-homosexual advocacy groups continue to do what Social Progressive always do when they can't convince the General Public (which is something they can rarely achieve, being that the G.P. usually maintains good sense on most issues):

    The take their complaints to the Judicial Branch of government, which stopped being what it was designed to be by the Founders: definers of terms and NOT legislators.

    Different day, same story: find a judge which agrees with the SP premise and then wait for the pre-determined outcome.

    Aaron Proctor, Philadelphia Libertarian Examiner had a great idea that should satisfy all parties: get Govt. OUT of the marriage business.

    Anybody wants to get married, homosexual or straight, two places to go:

    1. Lawyers to work out Pre-Nupps in case of 'divorce'....and
    2. Churches where the institution of marriage was founded.

    ELCA can skew the Word of God all it wants and hold the marriages: they'll answer to the Lord.


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