Statements from LGBT Caucus Members in Response to the U.S. District Court’s Decision on Proposition 8

from the California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus

Members of the California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus issued the following statements in response to the decision issued today by Judge Vaughn R. Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in the case entitled Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, invalidating Proposition 8, the discriminatory state constitutional amendment that banned marriage for same-sex couples:

Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D – San Francisco), Chair:

U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker has issued a powerful, thoughtful, and wellreasoned decision. In overturning Proposition 8, this Court fulfilled its legacy as a champion for equality. The Court recognized that it is unconstitutional to put a minority’s rights up for a popular vote. Today’s decision reaffirmed our U.S. Constitution’s promise of equality for all.”

Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles):

Judge Walker’s thoughtful, eloquent decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger is a powerful validation of our nation’s tradition of full equality in the eyes of the law. This is a decision which reaffirms the principles and ideals enshrined in our Constitution, and only serves to underscore the fact that recognition of full equality for LGBT Americans is simply at matter of time.

I also want to express my congratulations to the legal team of David Boies and Ted Olson, as well as Therese Stewart and Dennis Herrera representing the City and County of San Francisco for their brilliant, inspiring and historic arguments in this case. They have won a major victory on behalf of our Constitution and LGBT Americans everywhere.

Senator Christine Kehoe (D – San Diego):

I applaud Judge Walker’s ruling on behalf of equality today for all loving and committed couples in California. These men and women deserve the right to marry and this decision reinforces that our society is a fair and just place. I hope the community celebrates today’s victory and remains vigilant in the pursuit of civil rights for all Californians.

Senator Mark Leno (D – San Francisco):

“Today’s decision is a landmark victory for California and all caring couples who wish to make lifelong commitments to one another through marriage. Triumphantly we send the resounding message to the world that all people are treated equally under the laws of our nation. This decision not only upholds the constitutional right to marry for same-sex
couples, but also affirms our fundamental rights as human beings, which for so long have been denied. The decision underscores the respect, dignity and validation which all loving couples deserve.

As we celebrate today’s decision, we must never forget how far we have come, or the courageous leaders upon whose shoulders we stand. They had certainly envisioned this day, but did not live to see it. It is through their courageous blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice that we found our victory.

In the words of the Declaration of Independence, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (and women) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’

The California Legislative LGBT Caucus was formed in June 2002. The Caucus’ role is to present a forum for the California Legislature to discuss issues that affect lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Californians and to further the goal of equality and justice for all Californians. Formation of the LGBT Caucus made California the first state in the
country to recognize an official caucus of openly-LGBT state legislators.

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