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5 Aug, 2010 20:34

California marriage ban overruled

Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment that made gay marriage illegal in California, has been stayed by a district court judge. Although the fight is not over, many in Los Angeles were celebrating.

 “California is always a state that is a leader. People follow what goes on in California and hopefully the other states will follow,” said Bill Steinberg

Steinberg and his husband decided to join the hundreds of gay marriage supporters because they wanted to lend their face to the cause. Parents of a 20 month old, they got married just before the same sex marriage ban was approved by voters in November of 2008.

“When proposition 8 passed, we had tears of sadness and it was like a terrible day and today we had tears of joy, it was a complete opposite feeling,” said Steinberg.

Other gay couples also brought their children, but this type of family is exactly what the people behind proposition eight did not want to see. Proponents of the gay marriage ban called the judge’s ruling disturbing, saying that the ruling goes against the will of millions of California voters.

“I’m disappointed at today’s decision because I do feel like I live in a dictatorship now, that my vote doesn’t count, my vote basically didn’t matter, why did I go out to the polls and vote for prop 8 when one unelected judge can just overturn that,” said Luke Otterstad, a gay marriage opponent.

Judge Vaughn Walker, who was appointed by former president George W. Bush and is one of the few openly gay US judges, said there was no rational basis from excluding gays and lesbians from marriage.

Prop 8 backers say all they were trying to do was to restore and strengthen the traditional definition of marriage. They vow to keep fighting, but that isn’t stopping the celebration in West Hollywood. This neighborhood has warmly embraced the gay community. Even Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined the crowd, and encouraged them to also keep fighting.

"This fight isn’t just about marriage equality, it’s about respect. Today is a great day for California,” said Villaraigosa.

Opponents of same sex marriage have a much different opinion and believe the high court will uphold the constitutional ban.

“I do think Proposition 8 will be upheld by the Supreme Court and that we will preserve marriage between a man and a woman for future generations,” said Otterstad.