Gabriel Arana is a senior editor at The American Prospect. His articles on gay rights, immigration, and media have appeared in publications including The New Republic, The Nation, Salon, The Advocate, and The Daily Beast.
Today's decision striking down Proposition 8 in the federal court challenge to California's gay-marriage ban is a morale boost for same-sex-marriage supporters who've seen stinging defeats in Maine and New York over the past year. But the celebration will be short-lived. Prop. 8 supporters already have an appeal ready, so the fate of marriage equality in the Golden State will ultimately be decided by the appeals courts. Still, the trial court's 136-page order is remarkable for its legal breadth and its stunning rebuke to the reasoning and motives of same-sex-marriage opponents.
Today, everyone's waiting for Judge Vaughn Walker to hand down his decision in the Prop. 8 case -- the federal challenge to California's gay-marriage ban. Conventional wisdom is that he'll overturn the ban.
However, Walker's ruling won't necessarily be a slam dunk for gay rights. The judge is bound by precedent and his decision needs to withstand the appeal process. Basically, there are three major questions Walker has to answer:
The Washington Post has a story lamenting D.C.'s lack of a cool nickname and announcing one that's catching on: DMV, an acronym for the "District," Maryland, and Virginia, the city and suburbs that make up the metropolitan area. This of course is already an acronym for the Department of Motor Vehicles, which you can either decry as unfortunate -- or "painful" or "ugly" -- or apt. Who doesn't remember the distinct air of DMV ennui? Perhaps the implicit comparison to one of the country's most hated and inept bureaucracies expresses how people feel about government, but for PR's sake, D.C.