August 4, 2010, is a historic day in this latter day civil rights battle.  Bear in mind, of course, that this is long from over, but Judge Walker’s ruling is fairly extensive, finding Prop. 8 unconstitutional both on equal protection and due process grounds.  Also, Walker applied both the strict scrutiny standard and rational basis and found the proponents’ arguments wanting.  I’ll post more when I’ve had a chance both to read it for myself and bounce it off my lawyer friends, but for now, courtesy of Jeremy, here is the ruling.

UPDATE: WOW, and immediately the sad, threatened little trolls come out! Well, welcome. We’ll never try to take away your rights. My commenters will make you look stupid, though.

UPDATE II:  Will post more Detailed Analysis soon, but for now, here’s Choire Sicha on what will happen when this goes to the Ninth Circuit:

This means it is off to the fun-loving Ninth Circuit, where they will literally laugh in the faces of the anti-gay-marriage folks! And possibly write a decision in the form of a sissy bounce video or something.

OMG, I can’t wait!

UPDATE III: God, I’m totally Greenwalding this post with updates. Joe Jervis points out that the commenters at Free Republic are already advocating the murder of gays. Nice.

UPDATE IV: Governor Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Proposition 8 Ruling

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement after U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker issued a ruling invalidating Proposition 8:

“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.’

UPDATE V: The National Organization for Marriage Responds:

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Moments ago, in a burst of unprecedented judicial arrogance, Judge Walker struck down California’s Prop 8:

This is a ruling that not only ignores the clear, legally-enacted will of the people of California, but jeopardizes the marriage laws of 45 states and threatens to strip millions of Americans of our core civil right to vote for marriage. We will fight back! Details to follow . . . .

Brian S. Brown

UPDATE VI: President Obama’s Statement

“The President has spoken out in opposition to Proposition 8 because it is divisive and discriminatory. He will continue to promote equality for LGBT Americans.”

UPDATE VII:  Wingnut reactions to the ruling, by the way, are in a separate post, so go there if you’re interested.