Chicago, IL —
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled 2-1 Tuesday that Proposition 8, California's ban on marriage for gay and lesbian couples, is unconstitutional and a violation of the civil rights of gays and lesbians.
Chicago's LGBT community is reacting to this milestone in the fight for marriage equality nationwide. State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago)
It is an important recognition that equal treatment under the law applies to every US citizen. Following on the heels of the movement toward full equality in Illinois and recently in New York and the State of Washington, this court action shows that the mood of the country is toward fairness and justice for all.Rick Garcia, long-time community activist
I am heartened by today's ruling on the anti-gay Proposition 8. The justices rightly found that the purpose of this proposition was nothing more than an attempt to diminish and treat lesbian and gay people unfairly under the law.
Opponents of fairness and justice will undoubtedly not give up their attempts to demonize gay people and deny us our basic rights. This ruling should encourage as we continue our efforts for equal marriage rights from sea to shining sea.
This ruling is another step in the long raid to equality.Bernard Cherkasov, Equality Illinois CEO
The inexorable march to full marriage equality achieved a significant milestone with the historic ruling that Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution. The court's gratifying decision makes a clear statement that marriage equality is a fundamental freedom. This victory, if upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, will restore full marriage equality in California, the nation's largest state, and add to the pressure in Illinois and elsewhere in the country to end marriage discrimination. In addition to the dignity and respect marriage equality grants loving and committed couples, it ensures security and critical safety net protections for all married couples and their families.
While we support the implementation of civil unions in Illinois in 2011, it still falls short of achieving full marriage equality on the state level and does little to guarantee the federal rights and privileges that marriage provides opposite-sex couples. With this ruling, political leaders who support full equality will have important arguments to share with state legislators who will inevitably be asked to vote on full marriage rights in the future.
Lawmakers need not wait for the ultimate disposition of the California case and other legal rulings to do the right thing in Springfield and Washington, D.C. to end marriage discrimination.Anthony Martinez, The Civil Rights Agenda Executive Director
I am very pleased that the Ninth Circuit upheld Judge Walker's earlier ruling. We applaud the work of the American Foundation for Equal Rights and all of the other organizations and individuals who have worked so hard for this outcome.
Although, this ruling does not affect our laws in Illinois, it is still very significant for Illinoisans, in that it will only aid our progress toward full and equal civil rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation. Alderman Tom Tunney (44th Ward)
I am happy to see the discriminatory Proposition 8 was affirmed once again to be unconstitutional. Let us hope this sets some serious precedent nationwide.