Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Saturn Retograde in Libra Equals ....

....a court ruling which reverses Prop 8 (2008) in California over banning same sex marriages.

Can't get more perfect of a theme for Saturn retro in Libra.

Court Strikes Down Ban on Gay Marriage in CaliforniaBy ADAM NAGOURNEY
LOS ANGELES — A federal appeals court panel on Tuesday threw out a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage passed in 2008, upholding a lower court’s ruling that the ban, known as Proposition 8, violated the constitutional rights of gay men and lesbians in California.

The three-judge panel issued its ruling in San Francisco, upholding a 2010 decision by Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who had been the chief judge of the Federal District Court of the Northern District of California but has since retired. The panel found that Proposition 8 — passed by a vote of 52 percent to 48 percent — violated the equal protection rights of two same-sex couples who brought the suit. The proposition placed a specific prohibition in the State Constitution against marriage between two people of the same sex.

But Tuesday’s 2-to-1 decision was much more narrowly framed than the sweeping ruling of Judge Walker, who asserted that barring same-sex couples from marrying was a violation of the equal protection and due process clauses of the Constitution.

The two judges on Tuesday stated explicitly that they were not deciding whether there was a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry, instead ruling that the disparate treatment of married couples and domestic partners since the passage of Proposition 8 violated the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.

“Although the Constitution permits communities to enact most laws they believe to be desirable, it requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently,” Judge Stephen R. Reinhardt wrote in the decision. “There was no such reason that Proposition 8 could have been enacted.”

“All that Proposition 8 accomplished was to take away from same-sex couples the right to be granted marriage licenses and thus legally to use the designation ‘marriage,’ ” the judge wrote, adding, “Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gay men and lesbians in California.”


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