Facts Overthrow Fear: Highlights from the Proposition 8 Decision

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Proposition 8 has been declared unconstitutional! While the ruling will be appealed, perhaps as far as the United States Supreme Court, this decision is still a huge achievement in the fight for marriage equality. The decision of Judge Vaughn Walker is particularly noteworthy because it so definitively nullifies the main arguments against same-sex marriage. We encourage you to read over and share widely some of the key parts of Walker’s decision: “Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gays and lesbians for denial of a marriage license.” About the claim that marriage has traditionally been defined as a union between a man and a woman: “Tradition alone cannot form a rational basis for the law.” “Same-sex couples are identical to opposite-sex couples in the characteristics relevant to the ability to form successful marital union.” “Marrying a person of the opposite sex is an unrealistic option for gay and lesbian individuals.” “Permitting same-sex couples to marry will not affect the number of opposite-sex couples who marry, divorce, cohabit, have children outside of marriage or otherwise affect the stability of opposite-sex marriages.” “The children of same-sex couples benefit when their parents can marry.” “Proposition 8 singles out gays and lesbians and legitimates their unequal treatment. Proposition 8 perpetuates the stereotype that gays and lesbians are incapable of forming long-term loving relationships and that gays and lesbians are not good parents.” “Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.” “Domestic partnerships lack the social meaning associated with marriage, and marriage is widely regarded as the definitive expression of love and commitment in the United States. The availability of domestic partnership does not provide gays and lesbians with a status equivalent to marriage because the cultural meaning of marriage and its associated benefits are intentionally withheld from same-sex couples in domestic partnerships.”

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