Sanity rules, in the form of Judge Vaughan Walker.
In the event you slept through yesterday and by some miraculous turn of fate, this is the first news source you turn to each morning, Proposition 8 was struck down in California yesterday. The ruling, based heavily on Article 8 and Article 14 of the Constitution, basically says that it is illegal to ban marriage based on a moral repugnance.
"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," Walker wrote.
Equal treatment under the law. Homosexuals are no less (or no more) human than heterosexuals (or "opposite lovers"). Since the law is based solely on opinion and not scientific, factual evidence, this ruling should likely stand up to appeal. Until the SCOTUS, where who knows what will happen.
A side note: expect a similar challenge to be raised to Arizona's odious "illegal brown people" law.
American history is full of examples that show you cannot legislate morality. Some may oppose gay marriage on moral grounds, but their truly is no factual, legal basis to prevent two adults from marrying. Period. End of discussion.
Our President may oppose gay marriage on moral grounds and he's entitled to that opinion, as wrong-headed as it is. I support the right of any two people to be as miserable as any married couple. Other noted liberals have held abortion to be morally repugnant, yet have supported Roe v. Wade, most notably Mario Cuomo, former governor of New York and perennial Presidential Hamlet.
That's not to say that morals have no basis in legislation or governance. We ban killing someone for its criminal act, but also for the moral force of our beliefs. Morality also plays into deciding what punishment the killer should receive: were their mitigating circumstances, does the evidence suggest a homicide rather than murder, and so on.
Where it has to stop is depriving someone of a common civil right based solely on how you judge them to be, morally. A murderer who is serving his sentence may legally be deprived of his freedom to wander the streets-- his behavior has warranted that-- but not his civil right to an attorney. An innocent person may not be deprived of ANY right, whether to an attorney, to wander the streets or to express his devotion to another adult before the law.
You may find that morally repugnant. I do not. If you do, you are free to socially deny that couple what you personally could offer them: friendship, your assistance, what have you. Your church may deny them the permission to hold a wedding in their facilities. That's still allowed after this ruling.
The state, however, is supposed to be above moral judgements in these matters. Judge Walker has ruled correctly.
The delicious ironies of this case?
Judge Walker was originally nominated to the Federal bench by Ronald Reagan. His nomination was stalled at that time because he was lead counsel on a suit brought by the US Olympic Committee to prevent the "Gay Olympics" from using the word "Olympics" (it's referred to now as the "Gay Games" for that reason).
And...Judge Walker is gay.