American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

One Year Anniversary of Ninth Circuit Finding Prop. 8 Unconstitutional

On March 26, our attorneys will defend a landmark victory: the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional, which happened one year ago today. Now, a year on, it’s impossible to overstate just how important that victory is.

You can go in-depth on the decision and read some of the best quotes here. But for a quick overview of why it mattered so much, here are the main highlights :

  • This is the first time a federal appellate court has declared unconstitutional a law banning same-sex marriage and, in that context, explained why marriage is so important.
  • The Court found that there was no legitimate reason to single out gay men and lesbians and deny them, and them alone, of the right to marry.
  • The decision will give other states pause before attempting to repeal marriage equality laws.
  • The unanimous decision to dismiss Proponents’ motion to vacate the judgment is the first time a federal appellate court has considered, and flatly rejected, a judge’s sexual orientation as a reason for disqualification.

“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 opposite-sex couples.  The Constitution simply does not allow for laws of this sort,” Judge Reinhardt wrote.

And that’s what we’ll defend on March 26th.

Watch some additional video highlights from the day of the ruling below: