Judge Walker’s ruling
It’s not enough to say we heartily approve of U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker’s recent opinion in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, which overturned Proposition 8. We must also applaud the careful and deliberate way in which he arrived at that opinion.
Proponents of Prop. 8 simply had no evidence that indicated any rational reason to deny gay and lesbian Californians the right to marry. That might strike the casual follower of current events as impossible—it certainly surprised many avid news junkies—but it’s true. The defense offered no substantial evidence. Several of the Prop. 8 witnesses refused to testify; those who did were unqualified as experts and could provide no solid evidence to support a rational reason for denying marriage equality to California’s gay and lesbian citizens.
In short, same-sex marriage—civil marriage, for, as the judge noted, no religious leader was ever forced to perform a wedding against his or her will—does not harm opposite-sex marriage, does not harm children and does not harm society. Further, being denied their right to marry does harm gays and lesbians and their children.
With this decision, we move a little bit closer to the American ideal of equality and liberty for all.