"Yay!" escaped from Ivy Bottini's mouth at around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. A federal appeals court just declared California's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.
"Having worked for over 50 years, this is a moment I have never experienced," Bottini, a , told the crowd at with tears in her eyes. "I am happy for those wanting to get married. For many, it says, 'I am a human being.'"
In a 2-1 ruling, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld Justice Vaughn Walker’s 2010 ruling that found California’s Proposition 8 "both unconstitutionally burdens the exercise of the fundamental right to marry and creates an irrational classification on the basis of sexual orientation."
"It's a great day for the city of West Hollywood," said Mayor John Duran, a civil rights and criminal attorney, at a news conference. "The court's decision is really beautiful."
In March 2000, California voters approved Proposition 22, which specified that only marriages between a man and a woman would be considered valid in California. In May 2008, the California State Supreme Court ruled that Proposition 22 was unconstitutional, because it discriminated against gay and lesbian people.
The next year, the California Supreme Court made a ruling that upheld Proposition 8, and reinstated the ban on same-sex marriage in California, halting all same-sex marriages in the state.
measure in 2010. But in 2011, , because the judge was in a long-term same-sex relationship that he had not disclosed.
"It's been a bit of a rollercoaster," said Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Prang, "but it's getting up today, rather than a fast trip down. Hopefully this movement will continue state to state."
Scott Schmidt, a transportation commissioner with the city of West Hollywood, joined in the celebration at City Hall.
"Clearly it's been a long struggle, fought on both sides of the aisle," he told Patch after the conference. "Each victory brings us closer and widens the general public's acceptance that freedom means freedom for everyone."
ProtectMarriage, the backers of Prop. 8, can appeal to Ninth Circuit panel or go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.