An initiative measure adopted by the voters deserves great respect. The considered views and opinions of even the most highly qualified scholars and experts seldom outweigh the determinations of the voters. When challenged, however, the voters’ determinations must find at least some support in evidence. This is especially so when those determinations enact into law classifications of persons. Conjecture, speculation and fears are not enough. Still less will the moral disapprobation of a group or class of citizens suffice, no matter how large the majority that shares that view. The evidence demonstrated beyond serious reckoning that Proposition 8 finds support only in such disapproval. As such, Proposition 8 is beyond the constitutional reach of the voters or their representatives.
California’s obligation is to treat its citizens equally, not to “mandate [its] own moral code.”
Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same-sex couples.
I know I’m a few days late, but these statements bear quoting, re-quoting, and re-re-quoting as many times as it takes to have them applied in every state. Love isn’t wrong, sexual orientation isn’t a whim, religious beliefs shouldn’t be legislated, and marriage is a right.
Thank you, Judge Walker.