Brown, Whitman split over decision on gay marriage

Brown, Whitman split over decision on gay marriage
Gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown are seen in these Associated Press photos.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown on Wednesday called a federal judge's decision to overturn California's ban on gay marriage great news.

Brown posted the comment on his Twitter account shortly after U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker issued his decision.

The attorney general also released an official statement through his office, reiterating his belief that Proposition 8, passed by voters in 2008, is unconstitutional.

"In striking down Proposition 8, Judge Walker came to the same conclusion I did when I declined to defend it: Proposition 8 violates the equal protection guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution by taking away the right of same-sex couples to marry without a sufficient governmental interest," Brown said.

The lawsuit was filed by two gay couples who claimed the ban violated their civil rights.

Republican candidate Meg Whitman told reporters before the ruling that she is against gay marriage but favors civil unions. A Presbyterian, Whitman has explained her vote for Proposition 8 as one of "faith and conscience."

"I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman" she said at a campaign stop in East Los Angeles. "We have a very forward-looking civil union law."

Asked for a reaction after the ruling, Whitman's campaign spokesman Darrel Ng repeated Whitman's support of Proposition 8. He added that the ruling is the first step in a process that will continue.