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Local Politicians, Activists Applaud Prop. 8 Ruling

Several other local politicians and celebrities are applauding the appeals court decision.

Politicians in the greater Los Angeles area are coming out in support of the appeals court decision Tuesday that affirmed the unconstitutionality of California's ban on same-sex marriage.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will host a community celebration of the decision with City Councilman Bill Rosendahl and activist groups at City Hall at 5:30 p.m. Board members from Americans For Equal Rights, the group that sponsored the court case involved in the decision, will attend.

Villaraigosa also released a statement Tuesday afternoon:

"Today is a decisive victory for freedom and equality. Today, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals validated what we know in our heart of hearts: that all Americans enjoy the basic right to marry the person they love. With its decision, the court has affirmed the fundamental dignity of gays and lesbians and has reaffirmed a basic American truth: bigotry and prejudice have no place in our laws.

If we truly believe in family values, we must value all families. I fully expect that this issue will reach the US Supreme Court. I am hopeful that the highest court in our land will follow the wisdom of the 9th Circuit and grant all couples -- gay and straight -- the freedom to marry."

In a 2-1 ruling, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld Justice Vaughn Walker’s 2010 ruling that found California’s Proposition 8 "both unconstitutionally burdens the exercise of the fundamental right to marry and creates an irrational classification on the basis of sexual orientation."

Rosendahl, who is openly gay, tweeted: "Great day! Prop 8 was ruled unconstitutional. For now, my brothers and sisters in LGBT community have their basic civil and human rights."

Redondo Beach Mayor Mike Gin, who married his partner of 13 years, Christopher Kreidel, on Nov. 1, 2008, said that though he realized that the decision may not be the final say, he was "just thrilled."

"I'm really heartened by the ruling and hope that we are moving closer to that day where all couples can appreciate the joys of a civil marriage," Gin said.

West Hollywood Patch is covering the local reaction to the court's decision. To follow the coverage, .

"It's a great day for the city of West Hollywood," said the city's mayor John Duran, a civil rights and criminal attorney, at a news conference. "The court's decision is really beautiful."

Assemblyman Mike Feuer (who currently represents Westwood, Century City, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, West Hollywood, Hollywood, Brentwood and Beverly Hills) released a statement Tuesday on the decision:

“Today, a federal appeals court upheld our most cherished constitutional principle, that all Americans are equal under the law.  The court declared that none of our friends or neighbors should be singled out by the government and told they are not allowed to marry the person they love.  Unfortunately, this decision is likely to be appealed, so Californians who believe in fairness and equality must not rest until the discrimination compelled by Proposition 8 is eliminated once and for all.”

Assemblywoman Julia Brownley (who represents Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Encino, Agoura Hills, Malibu, Calabasas, among others) also released the following statement:

"I rejoice in the decision of this court to recognize that people cannot use the initiative process to deny basic rights like that of marriage to a class of people they find objectionable," Brownley said. "California's constitution declares all Californians are free and independent. That freedom includes the right to marry whom one wants and to enjoy the same rights as others have to pursue safety, happiness and privacy. These rights belong to all of us, not just to a favored group."

Assemblywoman Betsy Butler (who represents Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Marina del Rey) also expressed her support:

“Today the 9th Circuit made the correct decision in ruling Proposition 8 unconstitutional.  I have long believed that marriage is about love, not gender.  So it brings me great joy that the court recognized to be true what many of us already know—that Proposition 8 served only to discriminate.  It is my hope the U.S. Supreme Court rules in a similar fashion soon, so everyone who wants to marry can have the freedom to do so.”  

Congresswoman Janice Hahn (who represents several communities on the coast the 36th District)

“I believe marriage equality is a civil rights issue. We move further away from a just nation by trying to deny Americans the rights they deserve. Proposition 8 sought to make gay and lesbians into second class citizens and today was rightfully ruled unconstitutional. While today’s ruling doesn’t settle this issue nationally, I will continue to stand with all LGBT Americans in the fight to ensure dignity, equality and respect for all.”

Celebrities also applauded the court's decision, and several released statements and tweets in response.

CLaude Todoroff February 08, 2012 at 11:20 AM
I don't know why you all are celebrating this decision. The 9th. Circuit has the worst record of all the appeals court when their radical decisions get appealed to the SCOTUS. There is no constitutional right to marriage or not to marry. Which article of the constitution says anything about marriage. There is one amendment, however, that states those powers not granted to the federal government is granted to the people or the states. The people of California have spoken. If gays have the right to marry then why not allow polygamy, a 90 year old to marry a 10 year old or a parent to marry his or her child? Where will this idiocy by our courts stop?
Sharon February 08, 2012 at 02:58 PM
To Wolfman, Smack Dab and Claude Todoroff: Thank you for your voices of reason!
BeReal February 08, 2012 at 05:08 PM
The justice system's purpose is to protect the rights of all, and to ensure that the majority does not trample the minority. Just as discrimination based on race, gender, or any other suspect classifications, so is discrimination based on sexual preference. If any of you were disciminated against, wouldn't you want the protection of the courts? (Oh, and just to eliminate any question, I'm not gay).
venicepower February 10, 2012 at 07:40 AM
As BeReal says, judges must take the role of excluding popular sentiment - majority or not - from their focus on basic human rights. This said, it's absolutely understandable that courts might be in disfavor now, considering the Supreme Court's ruling regarding corporate "personhood." That decision protects a minority that needs no protection, having long enjoyed a bought-and-paid-for majority position in the halls of power. It's strange that 99% of the population can be a minority in fact. But at least some minorities can live with less fear of being punished for trying to live honest and productive lives.
hmj February 10, 2012 at 02:40 PM
A victory for primitive behavior! Are we a civilized society or a collection of primates?

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