Prop 8 overruling in California feels like Romer v. Evans, says state Senator Pat Steadman
Colorado state Senator Pat Steadman on Wednesday, commenting on the decision by a federal judge to overturn California's Proposition 8, said it's a lot like fourteen years ago.
Fourteen years ago being May 20, 1996, when a U.S. Supreme Court ruling came down against Colorado's Amendment 2 -- an addition to the state constitution that didn't count homosexuals as a protected class. Detractors say it opened up a person's sexual orientation as another route to indirectly discriminate against them.
The California proposition, approved statewide by voters in 2008, only recognized marriage as being between a man and a woman, removing rights previously granted to those who wished to enter into a same-sex marriage.
Steadman, Colorado's only openly gay state Senator, showed up a little after a rally on the State House steps celebrating Wednesday's decision concluded. He also predicted that same-sex marriage would be legal nationwide by at least 2020.
He said that many of the court rulings favoring same-sex rights had similar language, and the ruling on Wednesday added to the momentum.
"You start reading these opinions and they all start to sound alike," Steadman said. "It feels like dominoes falling."
The rally in front of the State Capitol drew out about forty supporters, who gradually showed up in the on-again, off-again drizzle.
Judy Trompeter, holding a sign that read "another ally for GLBT rights," said her son came out to her, and her attendance was because she "wants the same rights for my son as for all my other children." She said she's the mother of four children and a PFLAG member.
Added Cathi Woodward, a member of Marriage Equality USA Colorado, "We are out here in the rain to celebrate the absolutely fabulous news at Proposition 8 being ruled unconstitutional in California."
Pamela Thiele and Lauren Fortmiller, who moved to Lakewood in 2007 from Sag Harbor, New York, were married in Los Angeles, California. Thiele said that after Wednesday's ruling, the legality of her marriage in California was up in the air -- at least until a Supreme Court ruling.
Lauren Fortmiller and Pam Thiele.
"We know where it ends," Steadman said of the almost likelihood that the Supreme Court will decide to hear the case. "It's not really clear how it will end, but we've got the momentum.