Jonathan Rauch, a major advocate for gay marriage, today in the NY Daily news called Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling in the Prop 8 case "radical." And he didn't mean that in a good way:
"Although California's voters overturned gay marriage in 2008 (an unjust and unwise decision, in my view), they left in place the state's civil unions program, which provides all the state benefits of marriage under a different name. In effect, they said, "We'll give gay couples everything but the word 'marriage.' That final step, we'd like more time to think about." The result amounted to a flawed but reasonable compromise.
Walker was right to say that separate isn't equal. Civil unions are hardly ideal. But his decision treats civil unions as if they were trivial or worthless. By refusing to give them any weight and declaring them not just inadequate as a matter of policy but prohibited as a matter of law, Walker uses the Constitution to put compromise out of bounds."