Judge to issue Prop 8 ruling

August 3, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A U.S. district judge will issue a ruling Wednesday in the controversial federal trial over California's same-sex marriage law. Supporters of same-sex marriage are expected to gather at Fresno City Hall hoping for a victory party. If that's to happen, a federal judge would have to rule that Prop 8 which was passed by California voters violates the U.S. constitution.

When it was passed in 2008, Prop 8 defined marriage in California as only between a man and a woman. It was challenged immediately in the courts. After numerous appeals, the fate of this proposition rests with a federal judge in San Francisco who has been mulling over his decision for the past two months. Local same sex marriage activist Jason Scott of Marriage Equality USA has been closely following the proceedings. Tuesday evening Scott sent out numerous e-mails and Facebook messages letting people know about Wednesday night's rally. He expects the verdict to be in their favor.

"There was a lot more of a legal basis on our side on why proposition 8 should be overturned." Scott said.

Jim Franklin, a pastor at Cornerstone Church in Downtown Fresno hopes that prop 8 will be upheld. He says it's not about same-sex marriage, rather the right of the people to govern themselves democratically.

"It has gone through the California supreme court. The California Supreme Court has upheld it. And now we've got on federal judge that has the ability to overturn the entire will of the people and the constitution of California? That's what this is really about." Franklin said.

"Clearly it's going to be an emotional decision. It's a big decision, no question about that." Adds Abc 30 legal analyst Tony Capozzi.

Capozzi says Judge Vaughn Walker will be fair and believes Prop 8 will be overturned.

"Seems clear to me, the courts going to come down and say that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. That it violates equal protection of the laws. It doesn't treat everybody equally."

Legal experts say regardless of Wednesday's outcome, this case will likely end up being appealed again. It could eventually end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.


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