A federal judge in San Francisco refused Wednesday to dismiss a lawsuit challenging California's Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, and ordered a trial on whether the measure denies fundamental rights to gays and lesbians.
-- From "Judge refuses to toss suit challenging Prop. 8" by Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer 10/15/09
Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker has said repeatedly that a trial is needed to resolve disputes that may determine the measure's constitutionality, so Wednesday's ruling did not surprise either side.
But the breadth of his decision was a boost for gay rights advocates, who argue that Prop. 8 unconstitutionally discriminates against gays, is rooted in anti-homosexual bias and violates the right to marry the partner of one's choice.
Walker left all those issues on the table, rejecting arguments by Prop. 8's sponsors that higher courts had already resolved them. Among the questions to be answered, he said from the bench, is "whether Prop. 8 was passed with discriminatory intent."
Even if it's rational for the state to promote marriage among opposite-sex couples, the judge asked . . . how would that goal be impeded by allowing same-sex couples to wed?
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