Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker made history yesterday when he overturned Prop 8. There is no doubt that everyone who believes in equality for all should celebrate his ruling, which recognizes that “fundamental rights may not be submitted to a vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.” Those words, first issued in a U.S. Supreme Court decision from 1943, indicate that, like religious freedom, the freedom to marry is fundamental for all people.
Still, those who remain bent on discrimination will keep up the fight, which means we must fight as well. Immediately after overturning Prop 8, Judge Walker granted a stay on his decision, which means that same-sex couples may have to wait quite some time before obtaining marriage licenses in California. The appeals process in this case will be long and arduous, most likely leading to the Supreme Court.
For now, we must take pride in this victory and celebrate the huge shift in the climate surrounding gay marriage. We should also keep in mind that, until equality is the law of the whole land, our battle isn’t over.
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