Prop 8 Overturned

Drew Sheets, Op Ed Editor

A federal appellate court deemed California’s Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional, preempting celebration from civil liberty advocates and hate speech from supporters across the country.

On Tuesday Feb. 7 a three-judge panel from the Ninth U.S. Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 against the measures’ constitutionality.

In describing the majority opinion, Justice Stephen Reinhardt said, “Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationship and families as inferior to those of the opposite-sex couples.”

Celebrations of the decision took place from Atlanta, Ga. to Santa Barbara, CA. after the ruling came down. The most prominent signs at the celebration in Atlanta read, “NO H8”, expressing their support for Justices Reinhardt’s majority opinion.

Mormons came under heavy criticism for supporting the proposition back in 2008. The Church of Latter Day Saints was, vocally, the most concerned group with giving gays and lesbians their right to marry. The proposition narrowly passed by 52 percent.

The courts decision left a window of opportunity for supporters of the bill to appeal the ruling before the court will change the law to allow for same sex marriages in California to resume.

Conservative TV personality, Bill O’Reilly blew up on one  of his guests Wednesday night as he vehemently suggested that the courts have no authority to give gays and lesbians a right to marry. “You don’t have the right to be married.” O’Reilly said, “From the jump, its not a right guaranteed by anything…the court has no right under our Constitution to bestow anything. You can’t do that. It’s tyranny.”

Even though this is a step in the right direction for the gay, lesbian and civil liberty activists, the fight for marriage equality has a long ways to go.