California AG asks federal appeals court to lift stay on gay marriage ruling

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

California‘s attorney general on Tuesday urged a federal appeals court to lift a stay and permit same-sex unions to resume while it considers whether to overturn the state’s ban on gay marriage.

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris said it is unlikely an appeal will succeed in overturning a federal court’s ruling decision that Proposition 8 — the 2008 voter approved ban on gay marriage — is unconstitutional.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

In arguments filed with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Harris asked the court to lift a hold on a federal court order directing the state to permit gays to marry. U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who served on the bench in San Francisco, ruled that the marriage ban violated constitutional rights to due process and equal protection.

Harris’ argument follows a decision by the California Supreme Court to consider a question in the case that could put off a final resolution in the 9th Circuit for more than a year.

“For 846 days Proposition 8 has denied equality under law to gay and lesbian couples,” Harris told the court. “Each and every one of those days, same-sex couples have been denied their right to convene loved ones and friends to celebrate marriages sanctioned and protected by California law.”

Last year, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco ruled the Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, but the decision was put on hold pending appeal.

Last week, the attorneys seeking to overturn Prop 8 — Theodore Olson and David Boies — filed a similar motion asking the appeals court to lift the stay while it decides the matter.

The appeals court has asked California’s Supreme Court to consider whether supporters of Proposition 8 have standing to defend it after state officials declined to do so, a process that may take until the end of the year.

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