US appeal court rules California same sex marriage ban unconstitutional
Sunday, 12 February 2012 14:58
New York, Feb 12: An American federal appeals court has rejected California's same-sex marriage ban, setting the stage for a U.S. Supreme Court showdown as early as next year.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Proposition 8, the state's voter-approved law prohibiting gay marriage was a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
"Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and had 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. The Constitution simply does not allow for laws of this sort," The New York Daily News quoted the court ruling, as saying.
The court said gay marriage cannot however resume in the state unless the architects of Proposition 8 fail to appeal.
The ruling, which upheld a 2010 decision by retired U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker that Proposition 8 violated the U.S. Constitution, has provoked reactions on both sides.
"Today, unelected judges cast aside the will of the people of California who voted to protect traditional marriage I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and, as president, I will protect traditional marriage," Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney said.
Actor George Takei, a longtime supporter of gay marriage, described the ruling as "fantastic."
"We're delighted and heartened by this decision. The language of the ruling sounds very strong," he said.
He said even though his marriage made the deadline to be legal in California, he wanted federal protection at the earliest. (ANI)