CFI Celebrates Federal Appeals Court’s Rejection of Proposition 8

February 8, 2012

The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is rejoicing over the ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that California’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

As Judge Stephen Reinhardt rightly stated in the court’s 2-1 decision, “Although the Constitution permits communities to enact most laws they believe to be desirable, it requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different people differently. There was no such reason that Proposition 8 could have been enacted. All that Proposition 8 accomplished was to take away from same sex-couples the right to be granted marriage licenses and thus legally to use the designation ‘marriage.’ Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gay men and lesbians in California.”

You can read the court’s full ruling here.

CFI has been a leader in the fight for marriage equality for years, and supports the court’s decision as fair and just. It is a pivotal step forward in the national marriage equality movement.

“LGBT individuals are entitled to the same rights as anyone else,” said Ronald A. Lindsay, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry. “Marriage is an important institution in our society. Denying same-sex couples the right to express their love through marriage is to deny them equal protection under the law as well as a fundamental human right.”

CFI would also like to applaud the appeals court for rejecting the argument that the federal district court’s decision was invalid on the grounds that Judge Vaughn Walker should have removed himself from the case because, as he subsequently disclosed, he was in a same-sex relationship. The appeals court ruled that being gay did not disqualify Judge Walker from ruling on the case any more than being heterosexual would have disqualified him.