CA federal judge lifts Prop 8 stay, but with delay
A federal judge in San Francisco on Thursday agreed to delay for six days enforcement of his landmark decision declaring California’s Proposition 8 unconstitutional.
There were cheers outside San Francisco City Hall at 12:24 Pacific Time Thursday afternoon as news emerged that U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker denied a request to delay enforcement of his ruling finding Proposition 8 unconstitutional.
But Walker, in essence, split the baby. He gave Yes on 8 supporters of the anti-gay marriage measure until August 18 to obtain a more permanent stay from a higher court. After August 18 at 5pm, he said, the state should no longer enforce the Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage.
The order was a disappointment for many same-sex couples–who had gathered outside city halls across the state, some before dawn—in hopes of applying for a marriage license as soon as the judge lifted the temporary stay.
Supporters of the ban on same-sex marriage are expected to seek an emergency stay from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Parties interested in Proposition 8 have been waiting since August 4, when Walker issued his ruling that the voter-passed amendment to the state constitutional violated the federal constitution. Many observers believed Walker would issue an extended stay in order to let the 9th Circuit rule on the merits of the case. But last week’s decision by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown to oppose a stay was seen by many as tipping the balance in favor of denying the stay. As things turned out, the decision featured both a lifting of the stay, and a delay to allow an appeal.
–Lisa Keen, Keen News Service