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August 5th, 2010
1 Judge Knows Better than 7 million People

"The whole nation is watching, and the whole nation should be quaking to think that a single judge sitting in California can reverse the will of 7 million voters."

An openly gay judge overturns the will of 7 million voters, he just knows better.

When a judge struck down California's ban on same-sex marriage Wednesday, he handed gay rights advocates a historic and invigorating victory, but also a temporary one in a long fight that may be heading toward a showdown at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Even as Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's toppling of Proposition 8 set off hours of celebration in some quarters - with many gays and lesbians seeing the ruling as not just a validation of marriage rights, but of their lives in general - opponents planned to seek a reversal at the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Backers of the marriage ban said they were confident they would prevail in the end, and predicted that Walker's decision would energize people who believe marriage should be reserved for one man and one woman, just as the ban had mobilized gay rights proponents.

One of those who hailed the decision was Kristin Perry of Berkeley, whose desire to marry her partner of 10 years, Sandy Stier, prompted the couple to sue over Prop. 8, along with two men from Burbank. The initiative was approved by 52 percent of voters in November 2008, overturning a state Supreme Court ruling six months earlier that extended marital rights to gays and lesbians. 


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