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Proposition 8 defeated

By: Josh Fernandez The Press Tribune
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A federal judge’s landmark decision Wednesday to knock down Proposition 8 has some Placer County residents celebrating. Toby Adams, Placer County chapter leader for Marriage Equality California, said she’s relieved, to say the least. “It’s definitely a step in the right direction,” she said. “We’ve been working for full equality for quite some time and it’s both amazing that we haven’t gotten there yet and also amazing that we’ve gotten this far.” Adams and her wife were able to legally marry before the proposition passed, but now she’s looking forward to attending the weddings of some of her friends who weren’t so fortunate. “It’s not really equality if I get it and somebody else doesn’t get it,” she said. Adams is currently attending law school to practice LGBT civil rights. Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled that Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment that declared marriage in California is solely between a man and a woman, is unconstitutional under the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. “Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license,” he wrote. “Because California has no interest in discriminating against gays and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.” In a written statement, Charles J. Cooper, lead counsel for the proponents of Proposition 8, said Walker “negated the will of the people.” “Judge Walker’s ruling sweeps aside (the) historical understanding of marriage,” he wrote. “The Court’s disregard for the historical purposes of marriage would require California to embark on a novel experiment with the fundamental institution of marriage.” He added, “We have already filed a notice of appeal and look forward to the next stage of litigation.” The outcome in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals may force the U.S. Supreme court to rule on whether gays should be able to wed. Proposition 8 was approved in California with 52 percent voting for it in the November 2008 general election. In Placer County, 59 percent of voters were in favor of Proposition 8. However, the contentious proposition isn’t exactly at the top of the list for everyone. Roseville resident Jose Ochoa, 27, a laborer, said that if he had to vote on the proposition right now, he’s not sure which box he’d check. “It’s not really an issue that I care about,” he said. “I grew up Christian, so we were taught against (homosexuality), but it’s a new time now, so I don’t know.” Josh Fernandez can be reached at joshf@goldcountrymedia.com.