Judge’s ruling on Prop 8 tomorrow

A San Francisco federal judge tomorrow will issue a much anticipated ruling in the Proposition 8 trial, a decision that will be a first step in a long legal process to decide whether California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage violates the federal constitution.

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker will release the ruling without holding a hearing, typical in deciding most cases. Bay Area federal court officials announced the scheduled release of the much-anticipated decision in a brief order today.

Walker in January conducted an unprecedented trial in January in the challenge to Proposition 8, which restored the state’s ban on the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry. He heard closing arguments in June, and now will decide the outcome of a lawsuit that maintains the same-sex marriage ban violates the equal protection rights of gay and lesbian couples.

Either way the judge decides, the losing side is expected to appeal the ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Most legal experts expect the case to ultimately be decided in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Argentina allows same-sex marriage

Another sweet victory world-wide for homosexual couples, possibly allowing influence to other nations, including our own. Will California overturn the decision that we overturned on this issue?

Argentina’s Senate narrowly approved a measure early today authorizing same-sex marriages, making Argentina the first country in Latin America to allow gay couples to wed.

After 15 hours of debate, the Senate voted 33 to 27 in favor of the measure, which was sponsored by the government of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. For weeks, she waged a bitter war of words with the Roman Catholic Church over the measure. The church organized large protests throughout the country on Tuesday night involving tens of thousands of opponents of the law. Some senators criticized the Senate leadership on Wednesday for not allowing a vote on an alternative bill to authorize civil unions for gay couples. The same-sex marriage measure will give gay people the same marital rights as heterosexuals, including adoption and inheritance rights.

Mexico City became the first jurisdiction in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriages last year. Two other countries in the region, Uruguay and Colombia, allow civil unions for same-sex couples.

Massachusetts – federal ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional

A federal judge in Boston, Massachusetts, has ruled that the federal ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, because it interferes with an individual state’s right to define marriage. The ruling gives same-sex married couples in Massachusetts the same right to federal benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro ruled that “as irrational prejudice plainly neverconstitutes a legitimate government interest,” the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the protection under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. Tauro ruled simultaneously in favor on two separate lawsuits that were filed by the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) on behalf of eight same-sex married couples and three widows, and by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage has been permitted for over six years.

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