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Prop 8 Overturned: What They're Saying...

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As soon as news broke that Prop 8 was overturned, statements from politicians and organization lit up e-mail boxes across the country with statements and reactions. Here's a sampling:

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Judge Walker had the great responsibility of deciding whether Proposition 8 violates the Constitution of the United States. He heard in-depth arguments from both sides on fundamental questions of due process, equal protection and freedom from discrimination. There are strong feelings on both sides of this issue, and I am glad that all viewpoints were respected throughout the proceedings. We should also recognize that there will continue to be different points of view in the wake of this decision. For the hundreds of thousands of Californians in gay and lesbian households who are managing their day-to-day lives, this decision affirms the full legal protections and safeguards I believe everyone deserves. At the same time, it provides an opportunity for all Californians to consider our history of leading the way to the future, and our growing reputation of treating all people and their relationships with equal respect and dignity.

Today's decision is by no means California's first milestone, nor our last, on America's road to equality and freedom for all people.

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
Today, the sun shines a little brighter on the Golden State. A federal judge has affirmed what a majority of Californians know to be true: that love does not discriminate and that marriage is a civil right, not a privilege reserved for a select class of citizens. The decision handed down today in Perry v. Schwarzenegger reaffirms the notion that separate is never equal. “Although this is a landmark case and one of tremendous importance, we all know that this will not be the final word on marriage equality. We will continue to fight as tirelessly as ever before to ensure members of the LGBT community and all Californians are afforded the same rights and privileges under the laws of our nation.

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L.A. City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, who is openly gay
Today we celebrate a victory not just for the LGBT community, but for the cause of justice and of equal rights. Judge Walker issued a wise decision that affirms our dignity by forbidding the state of California from judging and restricting our love. I look forward to the day when this decision is the law of all the land. Even as we celebrate this decision and prepare to defend it on appeal, we must remember that this ruling is a small step in a long struggle. We must stand with our LGBT sisters and brothers who are persecuted and killed in foreign lands, and we must fight here at home for all those who in need of social justice.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown
In striking down Proposition 8, Judge Walker came to the same conclusion I did when I declined to defend it: Proposition 8 violates the equal protection guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution by taking away the right of same-sex couples to marry, without a sufficient governmental interest.

Plaintiff Attorney Theodore B. Olson

Through its decision today, the court has acted in the best traditions of a legal system established to uphold the Constitution and the principles of equality upon which this nation was founded. On no less than 14 occasions, the Supreme Court has held that marriage is a fundamental right. This decision recognizes that Proposition 8 denied the plaintiffs, and tens-of-thousands of other Californians, that fundamental constitutional right and treated them unequally.

West Hollywood City Councilmember Lindsey Horvath

Today, justice has truly been served in favor of equality. The recognition that California’s ban on same-sex marriage violates equal protection and due process rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution is a long-overdue victory. No one is equal until everyone is equal, and U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker has brought us one step closer to that 'more perfect union' we strive for as Americans.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein

This is an enormous victory for the equal rights of gays and lesbians. Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling today confirmed what many of us had felt was clear all along: that it is unconstitutional to take away the rights of gays and lesbians to enter into the institution of marriage. Most likely this verdict will be appealed and will go to the Supreme Court. The journey is not over, but today is a day to celebrate this historic victory for equal marriage rights. This is very good news.

Ramona Ripston, Executive Director of ACLU Southern California
This decision affirms that in America, we don't treat people differently because of their sexual orientation. We rejoice at today's decision but there's a long road ahead toward establishing true marriage equality for same-sex couples.