Updated, 11:30 a.m. PDT
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Jerry Brown says he has directed the California Department of Public Health to start issuing marriage licenses to gay couples as soon as a federal appeals court lifts its stay on a lower court ruling in the case.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday let stand that lower court ruling, which overturned the state’s voter-approved gay marriage ban, Proposition 8.
Brown said in a statement that the court has made same-sex marriage a reality in California “after years of struggle.”
The Democratic governor says he and Attorney General Kamala Harris have determined that county clerks and county registrars must comply with Wednesday’s ruling and begin registering same-sex marriage licenses once the stay is lifted.
The state Department of Public Health says in a letter to counties that it could take a month or more before that happens.
At a Los Angeles press conference Wednesday, Harris called for immediate resumption of same-sex marriages.
Supreme Court rulings normally take effect after 25 days, but Harris says she is certain marriages could resume much more quickly.
The trial court’s ruling was stayed by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but the attorney general contends the appeals court has the authority lift the stay before the 25 days are up.
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