Let’s start the day with Prop 8. Was anyone surprised by this ruling? I was not surprised at all. Prop 8 passed because people need to feel special and above someone else. There is a large percentage of people that need to look down on others in order to make themselves feel better about their own lives. History has shown us this with segregation, bans on interracial marriages and even the lack of equality that women had to deal with in the past (well, in the present to an extent). People voted for Prop 8 based on their own personal morals and beliefs.
The courts, however, need to find evidence and facts to uphold a law. The people behind Prop 8 could not produce facts to support the ban without invoking religion. Once you invoke religion into a debate, the word fact gets tossed to the side. There are no reasons (outside of religious ones) for banning gay marriage. Even though religion is built into the core of our country, we still strive for a separation of religion and law. Slowly, the country is moving towards that goal.
Will Judge Walker’s decision be overturned? That is a little trickier. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will uphold Judge Walker’s decision, but the Supreme court may not. The court has been making precedents lately with their conservative rulings. This could be a bad time for the Prop 8 case to get up to SCOTUS, but it could be years before there is a good time. I guess we will have to wait for this case to work its way through the Ninth Circuit and then see if the Supreme Court will even touch this.
The bigger question for me right now is which case is going to make a bigger splash on marriage equality. Will the MA ruling be appealed and wind up in front of SCOTUS? If so, this could make a huge impact on marriage equality. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the State of Massachusetts, the Federal Government will be forced to recognize same-sex marriages. Once that occurs, how many years and court battles will it take before other states are required to recognize these same marriages?
At the same time, the Prop 8 case is using the US Constitution to prove that banning gay marriage is not only unconstitutional in California, but across the country as well. Prop 8 is taking a direct aim at legalizing same-sex marriages in every state. MA is taking the back road approach.
Which case will get to the Supreme Court first? Will the Supreme Court take up either of these cases? These are the questions that are going to keep us on our toes over the next few years. These are the cases that are going to rule the history books for our time.