“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 relationships and families as inferior to those of the opposite-sex couples.”

– Justice Stephen Reinhardt

It’s about time someone said Proposition 8 was an unconstitutional cover-up for homophobia; but it’s a shame it was a federal court ruling and not the consensus of the American people.

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that California’s same-sex marriage ban has no legitimate “governmental” purpose and acts only as an embarrassing denial of fundamental rights.

The case is expected to go before the Supreme Court of the United States but the narrowly worded ruling of the circuit court leaves little controversy for the court to deal with. The Ninth Circuit Court left very little wiggle room for the court to interpret the case on a national level, rather it only applies to California. The court can simply agree with the unconstitutional ruling, making same-sex marriage legal in California and illegal in other states. Where does that leave marriage equality? Right back where it started.

Proposition 8 has never been anything more than an attempt to constitutionalize a form of discrimination that has no business in a society that prides itself on ensuring citizens freedom and equality.

We saw what happened when we denied equal rights to our fellow Americans, classifying them as second-class citizens in the past, so why would we try to make that mistake again? Because apparently denying people equal rights is not as important as upholding the sanctity of a nearly bankrupt institution.

Let’s face it; marriage is becoming a complete joke. There are far too many people in our society who regard with casual attitudes that marriage is no longer a life-long commitment two people make; it is something people do when they’re bored or knocked up. Allowing same-sex marriage is not going to affect how heterosexual people view marriage. They don’t know how to view it anyway.

We see it played out every day in the media whether it’s psuedo-celebrity Kim Kardashian getting married and divorced 72 days later, or Newt Gingrich saying marriage is sacred even though he’s been married three times and cheated on at least two of them.

Heterosexuals take for granted what gays and lesbians have to fight so hard to obtain. We rob them of the marriage title and squander it away on straight couples. Where is the justice in that?

No matter how one feels about same-sex marriage, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled within the jurisdiction of a federal court. Passing laws that deny equality, in any form, is unjust, unconstitutional and against America’s most basic principles. We cannot preach within our nation equal protection under the law, yet deny someone that protection based on who they love.

As we look back at our nation’s history, how do we not see marriage equality as unjust as enslaving human beings, treating women as inferior people or banning interracial marriage? Society cringes at our past treatment of these groups, so maybe it is time people look in the mirror and realize banning same-sex marriage is the new racism, the new sexism. It’s not a very flattering reflection, is it?

It’s time to wake up and realize gay marriage is not ruining America: U.S. citizens are, by letting people dictate what rights people do or do not have. If you have a problem with gay marriage then don’t marry a gay. Or view same-sex marriage as a few more dollars in California’s pocket. Same-sex couples have to pay the marriage license tax just like everyone else.