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SAN FRANCISCO – Gay marriage foes lose again in California.
Chief Judge James Ware ruled just minutes ago against a motion by attorneys for Proposition 8 supporters that would have overturned Judge Vaughn Walker’s historic ruling that the California state law banning marriage equality was unconstitutional.
Ware presided over a hearing on the matter on Monday as Prop. 8 supporters argued that Judge Walker was biased in the case because he is gay and did not disclose that fact during the trial. The supporters also wanted to prevent trial videos from public viewings, which Judge Ware rejected at Monday’s hearing.
Judge Ware took over the Prop. 8 case after Judge Walker retired earlier this year.
Judge Walker’s historic ruling is currently under appeal at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeals court is awaiting a ruling from the California Supreme Court on whether independent parties outside of the state government have any standing in the case. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on this matter in September.
To read the full ruling, click HERE.
“Today’s ruling is another heartening victory in our struggle for equality. We applaud the court for rejecting the pathetic attempts by Prop 8 backers to viciously malign Judge Walker,” said Jim Carroll, interim executive director of Equality California. “Because proponents of the marriage ban have repeatedly failed to present even a shred of evidence to support the insidious discrimination that Prop 8 fosters, they tried and failed to hide behind groundless, shameful arguments to discredit Judge Walker – arguments that fail to hold up under even the slightest scrutiny. As more and more Americans support equality and freedom, we are hopeful that families headed by same-sex couples will one day soon see justice. Thanks to the American Foundation for Equal Rights and its talented legal team for their ongoing commitment to this noble fight.”
"The court decisively rejected an outrageous attack on the integrity of Judge Walker, not to mention judges in general. The motion was a sideshow designed to deflect attention from the fact that the proponents had every chance to prove that Prop 8 was constitutional, but could not do so. Prop 8 was declared unconstitutional because it is unconstitutional - not because the judge is gay," said Peter Renn, staff attorney in Lambda Legal's Western Regional Office based in Los Angeles.
"We are very pleased that Judge Ware has decisively put to rest this distraction from the real issues in this case. The fact is that every day Proposition 8 remains in effect, loving, committed same-sex couples are deprived of the freedom to marry that everyone else enjoys,” said John Lewis, Marriage Equality USA’s legal analyst.
"We attended Judge Ware’s hearing on the motion alongside many LGBTIQ couples who are unable to marry because of Proposition 8. By moving this case forward today, Judge Ware has brought their wedding days one step closer to reality,” said Stuart Gaffney, Marriage Equality USA’s media director. "We now turn our attention to the jurisdictional issues in this case before the California Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals. We are very hopeful that these courts will recognize that the Prop. 8 proponents have no basis for being able to continue their appeal -- and that Proposition 8 will become a distant memory as soon as possible. Basic fairness and equality under the law mandate that every person deserves the freedom to marry the one they love.”