Civil Liberties

Appeals Court Stays Proposition 8 Injunction


Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit stayed U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's injunction barring enforcement of Proposition 8, California's voter-approved gay marriage ban. That means new gay marriages cannot be legally performed at least until the 9th Circuit decides the case and possibly until the Supreme Court has its say (even longer, of course, if Walker's decision is ultimately overturned).

More on the case here.

NEXT: Ray Bradbury Hysterical Theater: We Got Too Much Gummint, Too Many Internets, But Not Enough Moon Colonies! UPDATED AUGUST 17!

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  1. Epi and Weigle are going to have to wait a while for their secret union to become legal and public.

    1. John, maybe you and your alter-ego will eventually be able to get married, and you and you can live together in crazy faux-wedded bliss…to yourself.

      1. Someone forgot to give TAO his enema this morning. Again.

      2. If Suki did not exist, John would have to invent her.

        Er, wait…

      3. I’m all for gay marriage, but sock puppet marriage is beyond the pale.

  2. Ooooooo! I’m so mad I could just spit!


    1. On the contrary, we bear no ill-will toward the Gayist people.

  3. Good morning reason!

    1. Suki,

      It is not morning here, you self-centered witch.

      Oh, and good morning to you also.

      1. Our Reas-O-Matic timestamps say it is morning on my computer. Just because you chose an alternate timezone is not my problem.


        1. Western civilization lost its foothold on earned egoism when Greenwich Mean Time was replaced with the absurdly named Time Coordinate Universal (UTC?) standard. Anything goes.

          1. Look crybaby, you time travel in your chronograph and I shall travel on mine.

            1. We are riding on the Squirrel’s chronograph. Only Squirrel knows what time it is.

              1. It’s time for more coffee.

  4. This is the most devastating blow to libertarianism since slavery.

    1. Yeah, I was sitting on the back porch the other night with my girlfriend of 14 years and our 2 year old son watching the sunset together and thinkin’ to myself “if only my gal and me had government issued marriage certificate all would be well”.

      1. At first glance, I thought you were saying you had a 14 year old girlfriend with a 2 year old son…

      2. When common law marriage is outlawed, as in Kentucky, marriage is a must in order to have any sort of legal rights in particular issues (car accident and you’re on a ventilator and your gf knows that you want the machine shut down, but your parents don’t want it, as an extreme example).

        Single women in Kentucky cannot purchase private health insurance that includes maternity coverage.

        I’m not saying I agree with any of that nonsense (I don’t), but in many cases state sanctioned marriage is necessary in order to get legal recognition.

    2. If only that were true; we’d be doing really, really well.

      1. I thought it was the Badnarik campaign. Or was it the Barr campaign?

  5. I just wish these judges could make up their minds on this marriage thing… I just can’t decide for myself which kind of marriage is the “right” one.

  6. I’m certain once the decision is upheld, all those married gays will be let out of prison or get the fines returned to them or whatever the punishment was for trying to wed.

  7. The stay creates many opportunities. Right now somebody is pitching a reality show to Bravo Network: Bob and Richard, two successful gay men living in a fabulous 5/3 Nob Hill condo, are devastated by the decision. Follow them through the appeals process as they redecorate, shop for micro-dogs, eat salumi and eventually question their own commitments to the monogamous gay lifestyle.

  8. Although I personally think that the government shouldn’t be involved at all in defining or blessing personal relationships, I think I’ll score this one as a victory for reasoned jurisprudence. Walker’s opinion was a tenuous attempt to create a 14th Amendment issue out of whole cloth.

    Prop 8 makes no mention of sexuality or orientation, only gender, and gender distinctions are something that the Supremes have already said can constitute a “rational basis” for unequal treatment, which is why Walker had to try and make something up that wasn’t there.

    Just because it’s a bad law that you don’t like doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s unconstitutional*.

    * And to prempt the trolls who might attempt to be clever, the Obamacare mandate, IS unconstitutional.

    1. It’s unconstitutional.

      1. Not by way of the 14th Amendment it’s not.

        1. There’s a federal judge that disagrees with you.

          Also: I’m so sick of this. Yes it fucking is. Deal with it.

          1. There are probably at least four Supreme Court justices who disagree with that federal judge, so maybe it’s not as obvious as you think.

            Also, I’m sick of these appeals to authority. Try some actual evidence-based arguments.

    2. Discrimination based on gender warrants intermediate scrutiny. From everyone’s favoritest, non-fallible source:

      “In order to overcome the intermediate scrutiny test, it must be shown that the law or policy being challenged furthers an important government interest in a way that is substantially related to that interest.”

      If the “important government interest” is to promote heterosexual marriage so as to provide children with parents of both sexes, then they need to explain how same-sex marriages substantially harm this interest. They’ve done a piss-poor job so far…pro’lly cos there is no harm.

      (Not to mention the obvious fact that, contrary to your post, laws don’t need to mention the group they intend to discriminate against in order to be discriminatory).

  9. This is routine jurisprudence. Decisions are never given effect until they are final, and they aren’t final until appeals are exhausted.

    The only extraordinary thing is that the appellate court actually had to issue an injunction. That should give you a clue as to how judicially irresponsible the lower court has been.

    I’m curious (no, not THAT way). I haven’t really heard about any efforts to get legislatures to institute gay marriage (I think there’s a bill in Minnesota, but I haven’t heard of any others). Are the gay activists working that angle, or are they only working the judicial fiat angle?

    1. The head of the Human Rights Campaign articulated a three-pronged approach: legislation, the court system, and changing public opinion.

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