Have you recovered from your “Hey, Prop. 8, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out” party yet? The revelry was indeed long and long overdue as the LGBT community, its straight allies and fans of the U.S. Constitution have been rejoicing since yesterday afternoon when a federal judge ruled the California gay marriage ban was unconstitutional. Man, I never get tired of hearing that.
In words that, as The New York Times wrote yesterday, “could someday help change history” Chief US District Judge Vaughn Walker summarily dismissed the anti-gay marriage argument writing ultimately that “moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and women.” Man, I never get tired of hearing that, either.
Stars swarmed to Twitter to express their joy at the Perry vs. Schwarzenegger ruling, the first federal decision ever to declare that same-sex marriage bans violated the U.S. Constitution. Hell, even California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who declined to have the state defend the case but whose name is emblazoned as its defendant regardless, released a statement saying “This decision affirms the full legal protections and safeguards I believe everyone deserves.”
But the elation from yesterday, with everyone from Lady Gaga saying it inspired her to write new music and Adam Lambert saying it was time for a glitter party, belies a difficult road ahead. The ramifications of the federal ruling could be far reaching, especially if the case ends up in the Supreme Court, as is widely expected.
Now that the cheering, and hopefully happy hangovers, have subsided, what is left to do? The judge immediately issued a stay after his ruling, meaning don’t rush off to city hall for that marriage certificate, Californians. His ruling is not in effect and gays still can’t marry just yet. The defendants will undoubtedly file an appeal and, depending on upcoming court hearings, the actual practical overturning of Prop. 8 could be on hold until that process is over — which might take years.