Same-sex marriages in California were put on hold again after the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a request from backers of Proposition 8 to stay the August 4 ruling by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker that overturned the ban.
Walker ruled that Prop. 8 was unconstitutional because it discriminated against gays and lesbians and placed a stay on his ruling to give opponents time to file an appeal. He lifted the stay last week, and gay and lesbian couples could have started marrying at 5 p.m. Wednesday, but today’s action negates that possibility.
The appeals court will hear arguments about Prop. 8’s constitutionality the week of December 6.
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Public opinion contends that this landmark case will go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court for determination. In the meantime, opponents of Prop. 8 could go to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who handles requests for emergency motions from the Ninth Circuit, and ask him to lift the stay and allow marriages.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown joined attorneys and plaintiffs in appealing to the court to lift the stay, contending that the only parties harmed by the stay would be gay and lesbian couples.