Judge Will Decide Prop 8 Trial Today, Supporters Unleash Homophobia Early

Judge Vaugh Walker is going to announce the verdict of the Proposition 8 trial today. (If you need a refresher, read Rachel’s recaps of the trial. She’s a rockstar.) Vaughn has said he will release his decision between 1 and 3 p.m. PST.

UPDATE: An intrepid friend has said that if you text “equal” to 69866, The American Foundation for Equal Rights will text you the result as soon as it is released.

No matter what happens, the case will be appealed, as both teams of lawyers have vowed to challenge a ruling not in their favor. That’s good because if Vaughn rules against Prop 8, an appeal could allow that decision to have a wider impact. If Vaughn rules for Prop 8, then an appeal would give the pro-gay marriage side another shot at victory.

But before the judge has even published his decision, the Prop 8 supporters started preparing for the worst.

Lawyers for the coalition of religious and conservative groups that sponsored Proposition 8 in 2008 filed a legal brief Tuesday asking Walker to stay his decision if he overturns the ban so same-sex couples could not marry while an appeal was pending.

“Same-sex marriages would be licensed under a cloud of uncertainty, and should proponents succeed on appeal, any such marriages would be invalid,” they wrote.

And according to the Mercury News, their brief also said: “A stay is essential to averting the harms that would flow from another purported window of same-sex marriage in California.”

Nice! That was a good jab, wasn’t it? God forbid the evils of homosexuality befall the good state of California before an appellate court can save the day.


Obvs we will be watching Google News like good little masochists, eagerly awaiting the decision and the requisite outpouring of homophobia. We’ll keep you posted.

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Sarah lives in Chicago with her partner and her big white Great Dane. She is a lawyer by day and a beer brewer/bread baker/knitter by night. She & her partner are currently learning how to grow their own food, and eventually they hope to move to a small farm outside the city. In 2009-2010, before jetting off to law school, Sarah was Autostraddle's Managing Editor.

Sarah has written 127 articles for us.


  1. I’ve been refreshing Google and every gay site I can think of. The suspense is killing me…

  2. I still honestly don’t understand how pictures of Ellen and Portia at their wedding haven’t solved homophobia. Like really, how can anyone in California still think there is any harm to be averted after looking at that? Anyways brb got to go refresh google news again, and try to figure out whether i will be making a celebratory cocktail or drinking vodka straight after this ruling.

    • seriously how can anyone look at that picture and say it’s not right? it’s like killing bunnies.

  3. A better gay would direct you to where you can text alerts as soon as the decision is announced, but I set it up forever and can’t remember where.

    Alas, I’ll be at the press conference in SF immediately following the decision and will report back soon!



    • I’m sure we’re equally good gays, but–

      Text EQUAL to 69866 to get the decision as soon as it’s announced!

  4. i’m so excited that today’s finally the day. i’m probably going to cry either way, though.

  5. gotta love how the Prop 8 proponents indicate in their motion for stay of ruling that “repeating that experience [of granting the right to marry and then taking it away again] would inflict harm on the affected couples and place administrative burdens on the State.”

    why yes, it’s the emotional well-being of same-sex couples that Prop 8 proponents are really concerned about! i just…wow. boy howdy, my head hurts.

  6. holy shit:

    “Polling suggests that half a million people who opposed same-sex marriage mistakenly voted against the proposition. They were confused by the idea that a “no” vote was actually a vote for gay marriage. This “wrong-way voting” affected both sides, but overwhelmingly it helped the “no” side. Our analysis suggests that the division among California voters on same-sex marriage at the time of Proposition 8 was actually 54% to 46% — not so close. We are actually 1 million votes away from being able to reverse Proposition 8.”

    i wish i could say these people are morons, but i feel like in last presidential election i almost voted AGAINST obama because i was so confused by these old school voting machines new york city uses. maybe i am a moron. still, terrifying.

  7. I sit here in Los Angeles, California. Waiting. Nervous. Stomach in knots.

    Feeling sadness that innocent human beings have to be put through this degradation.

    But also with pride that we LGBT citizens are the strongest individuals on the planet.

    My love and thoughts are with you all.

  8. Oh my god you guys, I thought setting up the text message alert would stop me from obsessively refreshing my browser, but now I’m just obsessively checking my phone. ARGH.

  9. I can’t believe I’m having a bona fide anxiety attack right now. It’s 1:08PM, where the hell is it?!

  10. I just had my overseas flight delayed, but now I have something more important to be concerned with. Thanks for the tip about the text and I’ll be crossing my fingers and checking to see what happens. Here’s for the best.

  11. You guys, it’s history. In poli sci classes in the next 10 years, you know how you had to memorize court cases and their dates? Well this is gonna be one of them.

    I’ve been moving from room to room because I can’t sit still and oh my god is it here yet?

  12. Judge Vaughn Walker Hands Victory to Proposition 8 Opponents

    Big news: According to a source who has seen the 136-page decision, U.S. District Court Judge Walker has ruled Proposition 8, the California voter-approved ban on gay marriage, unconstitutional under both the due-process and equal-protection clauses. We’re staying tuned and will report more details when we get them.



  14. https://secure3.convio.net/hrc/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=905

    “Prop. 8 ruled unconstitutional! Thank the plaintiff couples.

    Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo. Kristin Perry and Sandy Stier. These two committed couples decided they would not be silent while Proposition 8 declared their relationships unworthy of a marriage license.

    Their case went to federal court in California, and they won: the court declared Prop. 8 unconstitutional. It was an important step in the long struggle for marriage equality.

    This case will likely be appealed and could make its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. Let’s show these couples our appreciation and give them strength for the battle ahead. Sign the message in the box below, or feel free to add a few of your own words.”


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