Local News

Aug 5, 2010 12:34 AM by Danielle Lerner

Both sides speak out about overturning of Prop 8

A judge ruled Wednesday California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution.

The ruling comes from a lawsuit filed by two gay couples who claimed the ban violated their civil rights.

Prop 8 was passed back in November 2008.

It narrowly defined marriage as something between a man and a woman only.

On the Central Coast hundreds of people gathered in San Luis Obispo to support Wednesday's decision.

The sounds of celebration echoed through Mission Plaza Wednesday as more than 100 people praised Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling.

For Sheryl Flores and Sarah Best, they say it is a big step in the right direction.

"I was so overjoyed I started crying at work and everybody came and gave me a hug and congratulated me," said Flores. "I was so overwhelmed and I still am it's hard to believe, but we're almost there."

In Wednesday's ruling Walker says the ban, "Does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples."

That is something Pastor Randy Nash says just is not so.

"Ideally judges would respect the will of the people, unless it's a clear breaking of the Constitution which this isn't," said Nash. "A lot of political pressure I know and ideally we'd like to think judges don't give in to that but we're all people."

So now as both sides wait for what happens next, couples like Sheryl and Sarah say they are celebrating with caution.

"We're hopeful something is actually going to come of this but at the same time it's like a kid at Christmas, you don't want to get your hopes up too much for that big present," said Best.

Supporters of Prop 8 are expected to appeal the decision.

The case would go first to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals but many believe this case could ultimately make it to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Gay marriage will not be allowed to immediately resume in the state.

The judge is still deciding whether his order should be suspended while supporters of Prop 8 pursue an appeal.

Both sides must submit written arguments on the issue by Friday.

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