Appeals court rules Proposition 8 unconstitutional

A federal appeals court ruled today that a California voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

A three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled 2-1 that Proposition 8 violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees equal protection under the law to all U.S. citizens.

Judges wrote that Proposition 8 “stripped same-sex couples of the ability they previously possessed to obtain from the State…an important right–the right to obtain and use the designation of ‘marriage’ to describe their relationships.”

The ruling states that because of the rights afforded to same-sex couples under domestic partnership, Proposition 8 marginalizes gay couples in the state of California.

“Propostion 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples,” according to the 39-page opinion.

The ruling will not take effect for 14 days and is likely to be appealed.