Opponents of Proposition 8 (or the California Marriage Protection Act) are celebrating today in California after federal Judge Vaughn Walker overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, deeming it unconstitutional. The 136-page ruling is a fundamental step in what will most likely be a lengthy and tedious legal battle over Prop. 8, an amendment that characterizes marriage to be a union between only a man and a woman.
The case is so highly debated that it is expected to reach the U.S. Supreme Court, in which case the amendment could end in a monumental decision on whether people in the U.S. are allowed to marry someone from the same sex.
Judge Walker did grant supporters of the proposition a stay, so despite the positive ruling today for same-sex couples, gay marriage will not be permitted immediately. Judge Walker is deciding whether or not his ruling should be suspended while the proponents conduct an appeal. Both sides will submit written arguments by Friday in order to determine this.
Voters approved Proposition 8 with 52.3% supporting the measure in November 2008, following the California Supreme Court ruling that it was permitted under the Constitution. The court later upheld the proposition as a valid amendment. Approximately 18,000 same-sex marriages were performed in California during the months it was legal and the state will continue to recognize those marriages as legal.
The long-awaited ruling has resulted in a joyous day for many, who can begin wedding plans. The new should be especially welcomed by gay skiers and snowboarders, who can now think about planning their honeymoons to some of the nation’s finest ski resorts. Possible destinations could include the beautiful ski gem Crested Butte, which recently announced a Matthew Shepard Foundation Gay Week, or the gorgeous Telluride, host of the “Top Gay Ski Week “ in the country by Gay.com.
Even the Mormons, famously known as supporters of Prop. 8, have been getting into the act, and have supported gay rights at non-sacred institutions such as Utah’s ski resorts.
So while the proceedings continue, start planning those ski honeymoons.