Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation
History in the high court

Appeals court: At least 25 days before Calif. gay marriage resumes

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Updated: 2:45 p.m. PDT

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court said Wednesday it will wait at least 25 days before making a decision on whether gay marriages can resume in California.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals spokesman said Wednesday that it will take at least that long for the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to become official. Spokesman Dave Madden said it’s the “general practice” of the appeals court to wait for the high court’s official ruling before taking any action.

The San Francisco-based court said it would not clear the way for weddings for at least 25 days, which is how long Proposition 8 sponsors have to ask the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision on their standing to defend the initiative, although it’s unlikely the high court would grant such a rehearing.

Further complicating matters is that lawyers for the ban’s backers insist the high court’s decision only legalized marriages for the two couples who sued to overturn Proposition 8. They could go back to court to argue that point and potentially further delay statewide gay marriage.

The Supreme Court’s ruling earlier in the day cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume, but sidestepped the larger question of whether banning gay marriage is unconstitutional.

The justices voted 5-4 to let stand a trial court’s August 2010 ruling that overturned the state’s voter-approved gay marriage ban, holding that the coalition of religious conservative groups that qualified Prop 8 for the ballot did not have authority to defend it after state officials refused t o do so.

The practical effect of the Supreme Court ruling, however, is likely to be more legal wrangling before the state can begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples for the first time since Proposition 8 passed in November 2008.

“While it is unfortunate that the court’s ruling does not directly resolve questions about the scope of the trial court’s order against Prop 8, we will continue to defend Prop 8 and seek its enforcement until such time as there is a binding statewide order that renders Prop 8 unenforceable,” said Andy Pugno, a lawyer for the ban’s supporters.

Gay marriage had been legal for 4 1/2 months in the state and an estimated 18,000 couples tied the knot before passage of Prop 8.

Gov. Jerry Brown said he has directed the California Department of Public Health to start issuing marriage licenses to gay couples as soon as the appeals court hold is lifted.

The battle over same-sex marriage in California started at San Francisco City Hall in 2004, when then-mayor Gavin Newsom ordered city clerks to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. On Wednesday, he brought the biggest cheers from the City Hall gathering when he said San Francisco is a city of “doers” that not only tolerates diversity, but celebrates it every day.

The measured enthusiasm contrasted with the exuberant cheers that greeted word earlier that the Supreme Court had struck down a federal law that prevents the U.S. government from granting marriage benefits to gay couples.

Developing story, check back for updates.

© 2013, Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Share this article with your friends and followers:

Archives: , , , , ,

Filed under: National Headlines

16 more reader comments:

  1. 25 days to be come official is a crock of crap. It should be Gay Marriage takes effect Immediately.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 1:16pm
  2. …I know we have to play by the rules so that everything is official and can’t be reversed, but this is a little disheartening. :

    Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 1:19pm
  3. 25 Days??
    IT WAS ALREADY DECIDEED ON.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 1:19pm
  4. This sucks!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 1:24pm
  5. here we go again…

    Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 1:29pm
  6. If they try again I think it is obvious that the supreme court would rule in favor of gay marriage, at this point it would just be conservatives and religious groups being petty . . . so . . . expect it to happen.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 1:32pm
  7. They already said that that the proponents don’t have standing, so how can they appeal?

    Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 1:33pm
  8. We were reminded that it would take 25 days before this. It is typical of cases from the Supreme Court. I don’t know about you, but I’m making a trip to the Recorder’s office and making plans. Yay for us!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 1:34pm
  9. nothing will change

    Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 1:51pm
  10. Are you freaking serious? What ever happened to a LAW is a LAW. Good Lord, the SUPREME COURT say it is a LAW. Let it go!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 1:53pm
  11. Its the holy then thou’s not accepting a person finding love outside of traditional marriage.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 2:04pm
  12. I hope that my home state of LA will make it legal here, soon.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 2:13pm
  13. We have victory not a big one but it’s a start

    Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 2:29pm
  14. Way to dangle that carrot in front of us….

    Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 2:58pm
  15. let them be married already

    Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 3:47pm
  16. geeze

    Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 6:50pm