"Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage licence," he said. "Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples".
This decision is particularly disturbing because it misinterpreted the CA Constitution's provisions for referendums brought by the people, as this one was. Judge Walker struck it down saying that the state legislature has an obligation to judge its rationality and citing a rationality requirement and then getting that wrong.*
What some people fail to understand, or choose to ignore (such as judge Walker and this panel did) is that the US Constitution limits government involvement in the personal decisions made by individuals. The only constitutional concern involve violations of the rights of other individuals. Enshrining the definition of marriage violates no one's rights.
The US Constitution is a binding contract between people that establishes a government with limited government powers (1). To that end it lays out very specific limitations on the ability of government officials to wield the power that is allowed to them by the people. The 10th Amendment (2), part of the Bill of Rights, spells this out. Additionally, there is no mention of marriage anywhere in the US constitution, including the amendments. Common sense would conclude that, by law, marriage is excluded from federal control (3). While marriage is a natural right, it is not a "right" protected by the US Constitution.
If the a state wants to promote gay marriage, or not, it is within their contractual power. The people out rank state and federal judges, legislatures and executive branches. We exercise our power at the ballot box. Californians did so in a lawful and rational way.
* See blog post Voters Declared "Irrelevant" by Wacky CA Judge
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
"The US Constitution does empower the federal government to regulate instate commerce in Article 1, Section 8, paragraph 3. Marriage has legal and economical implications that cross state lines."