Today, U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled that Proposition 8 violates the constitutional right to equal protection and that California “has no interest in differentiating between same-sex and opposite-sex unions” in a 136-page decision. The ruling comes after nearly six months of arguments in Perry v. Schwarzenegger. Judge Walker wrote: “The evidence shows conclusively that moral and religious views form the only basis for a belief that same-sex couples are different from opposite-sex couples.”
Adventists Against Prop 8 affirm the court’s ruling. We note that in this decision, Judge Walker has ruled that the only basis for objecting to same-sex marriage is religious, and while religious officials are free to either marry or not marry same-sex couples, the state—because we believe in the separation of church and state—has no right to discriminate based solely on religious grounds.
We reiterate the statement made on this site in advance of the November, 2008 vote on Proposition 8:
Adventists in the United States have historically defended the concerns of minority groups (even when they have disagreed with them on specific positions and practices) and have strongly objected to the use of religious arguments and means for establishing even what they consider to be public good (such the establishment of “blue laws” to fight widespread alcohol consumption on Sundays or the institution of prayer time in public schools). Adventists, as a people of faith and prophecy who have given special attention to apocalyptic events outlined in Revelation 13 and 14, have always advocated the safeguarding of rights of individuals and groups — even when we have disagreed with them — and the non-intrusion of overtly religious language and rationale in the formation or alteration of public policy.
Today’s ruling is an important step for proponents of religious liberty and equality as this case advances toward an eventual, inevitable decision from the United States Supreme Court.