From the majority opinion, written by Judge Stephen Reinhardt:
All that Proposition 8 accomplished was to take away from same-sex couples the right to be granted marriage licenses and thus legally to use the designation of ‘marriage,’ which symbolizes state legitimization and societal recognition of their committed relationships. Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.
Proposition 8 had absolutely no effect on the ability of same-sex couples to become parents or the manner in which children are raised in California. … It is implausible to think that denying two men or two women the right to call themselves married could somehow bolster the stability of families headed by one man and one woman.
From the dissent written by Judge N. Randy Smith:
Proposition 8 eliminates the right of access to the designation of marriage from same-sex couples, rather than working a far-reaching change in their legal status. … Same-sex couples in domestic partnerships still enjoy the same substantive rights and benefits as opposite-sex couples in marriages.
One can only assume that if Smith was on the Supreme Court, Plessy v Ferguson would still be the law of the land.
National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown:
As sweeping and wrong-headed as this decision is, it nonetheless was as predictable as the outcome of a Harlem Globetrotters exhibition game. We have anticipated this outcome since the moment San Francisco Judge Vaughn Walker’s first hearing in the case. Now we have the field cleared to take this issue to the US Supreme Court, where we have every confidence we will prevail.
Seethes Chairman John Eastman:
Never before has a federal appeals court – or any federal court for that matter – found a right to gay marriage under the US Constitution. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is the most overturned circuit in the country, and Judge Stephen Reinhardt, the author of today’s absurd ruling is the most overturned federal judge in America. Today’s ruling is a perfect setup for this case to be taken by the US Supreme Court, where I am confident it will be reversed. This issue is the Roe v Wade of the current generation, and I sincerely doubt the Court has the stomach for preempting the policy judgments of the states on such a contentious matter, knowing the lingering harm it caused by that ruling.
They didn’t find a right to gay marriage, they found that it was unconstitutional to give someone a right and then take it away. And anyone who knows the slightest bit about the constitution will tell you that almost every right we take for granted is not actually found in the document, but instead comes from the basic tenet that we are free — THAT is in the constitution.
Alliance Defense Fund Attorney Brian Raum
We are not surprised that this Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage – tried in San Francisco – turned out this way.
Love that rhetorical style. Hollywood!
Blowhard Bill O’Reilly:
Basically just two judges said, ‘you know what?’ We don’t really care about yooouu! What do you want really doesn’t matter, because we say this is unconstitutional to deny gays the right to marry.
When told that the actual point of the case was to decide whether rights that had been given could then be constitutionally taken away, O’Reilly slammed his hand on the table and yelled, “You can’t do that! That’s tyranny!”
Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum:
7M Californians had their rights stripped away today by activist 9th Circuit judges. As president I will work to protect marriage.
Their right to boldly discriminate against anyone different or with whom they disagree?
Presidential Candiate Mitt Romney:
Today, unelected judges cast aside the will of the people of California who voted to protect traditional marriage. This decision does not end this fight, and I expect it to go to the Supreme Court. That prospect underscores the vital importance of this election and the movement to preserve our values. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and, as president, I will protect traditional marriage and appoint judges who interpret the Constitution as it is written and not according to their own politics and prejudices.
And if the Supreme Court rules the way he wants, I’m sure you won’t hear him mention that they, too, are unelected.
Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich:
Court of Appeals overturning CA’s Prop 8 another example of an out of control judiciary. Let’s end judicial supremacy.
More and more Americans are being exposed to the radical overreach of federal judges and their continued assault on the Judeo-Christian foundations of the United States.
Let’s dismantle the carefully designed checks and balances of our governmental system. No judges unless they rubber stamp the regressive parties of our ruler! Yeah, that’s the Gingrich view of America.
State Sen. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, Butte County
This is an affront to the voters of California. Twice in one decade, Californians affirmed through the ballot that they want traditional marriage, and twice, a handful of judges has vetoed millions of voters. This is judicial activism at its worst.
You’d think they’d get the message after two times. If they want a traditional marriage, no one is stopping them. But they have no right to force their own morals or beliefs on anyone else.
The White House via Press Secretary Jay Carney:
I don’t have a comment on litigation in general and in this litigation to which we are not a party.. Beyond that, I can say that the President has long opposed, as you know, divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples.
McCain Daughter Meghan McCain:
Fantastic news about Prop 8 being declared unconstitutional! Here’s to freedom and equality for all Americans. #LoveOverHate #Equality
Comedian Alec Mapa:
BREAKING: Michelle Bachmann’s gay marriage now legal in California.