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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Same-sex marriage "stay" lifted, not in effect until Aug 18

[Update, 2:00pm, August 12: Early reports claiming the stay was lifted are factually correct, but later news corrected does not go into effect until August 18]

What a roller coaster!

Judge Vaughn Walker has issued his ruling on the temporary stay regarding the resumption of same-sex marriages in California and they are ordered to resume as early as August 18th. He lifted the stay, but gave proponents of Proposition 8 six days to file an appeal.

As I mentioned in an earlier post today, Napa County is ready to issue same gender marriage licenses as soon as the stay is fully lifted.

Next in this political saga and march towards Civil Rights/Equality is our wait to see if the appeal by Proposition 8 supportors will be heard--and if "Yes on 8" (listed as Prop 8 proponents in the official documents) even have a right to file an appeal. Marriages might only be legal in the short window of time between Walker's lifting of his own stay and the Ninth Circuit Court issuing their own.

For reactions to today's ruling from LGBTQ rights groups and others, check out this post by Joe.My.God.

More from SFGate:
(08-12) 19:11 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- Gay and lesbian couples in California can begin marrying next week, a federal judge ruled Thursday - that is, unless the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals steps in to stop them.

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker last week invalidated Proposition 8, the state's ban on same-sex marriage, saying it was discriminatory and unconstitutional, but put enforcement of that ruling on hold with a stay. Then on Thursday Walker lifted that stay but simultaneously ruled that his order not take effect until 5 p.m. Wednesday.

That gave proponents of Prop. 8 time to ask a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit court for another stay preventing same-sex marriages while that court - and perhaps the U.S. Supreme Court - reviews Walker's invalidation of the ban.

And by the end of Thursday, the ban's supporters had done just that. In a 95-page motion, they said a stay would "avoid the confusion and irreparable injury that would flow from the creation of a class of purported same-sex marriages." The Ninth Circuit court has not indicated when it might weigh in on the stay request...

...Moreover, Walker noted, the state did not defend Prop. 8. Instead, private organizations stepped in - but they might not have standing to appeal.

"It appears at least doubtful," Walker wrote, "that proponents will be able to proceed with their appeal without a state defendant ... In light of those concerns, proponents may have little choice but to attempt to convince either the governor or the attorney general to file an appeal."

That likelihood is less than slim: Opponents of Prop. 8 were joined in their request that the stay be lifted by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown.