Schwarzenegger voices support for ruling on same-sex marriage

13:59, August 05, 2010      

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California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said Wednesday that he agreed with the decision by a federal judge who invalidated the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

"For the hundreds of thousands of Californians in gay and lesbian households who are managing their day-to-day lives, this decision affirms the full legal protections and safeguards I believe everyone deserves," the governor said.

"At the same time, it provides an opportunity for all Californians to consider our history of leading the way to the future, and our growing reputation of treating all people and their relationships with equal respect and dignity," he added

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled earlier in the day that California's same-sex marriage ban, known as Proposition 8, violates the equal protection rights of gay and lesbian couples by preventing them from being married.

Walker issued an order barring the enforcement of Proposition 8, which was approved by California voters in November 2008.

In his ruling, Walker wrote that the ban "both unconstitutionally burdens the exercise of the fundamental right to marry and creates an irrational classification on the basis of sexual orientation."

"Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license," Walker wrote. "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."

Schwarzenegger said Judge Walker "had the great responsibility of deciding whether Proposition 8 violates the Constitution of the United States."

"He heard in-depth arguments from both sides on fundamental questions of due process, equal protection and freedom from discrimination," the governor said. "There are strong feelings on both sides of this issue, and I am glad that all viewpoints were respected throughout the proceedings. We should also recognize that there will continue to be different points of view in the wake of this decision."

Proponents of Proposition 8 were expected to appeal -- likely all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张茜)

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