Judge to hear arguments today on whether to issue a stay extending ban on gay marriages pending appeal; weddings could resume as early as tomorrow
East County News Network
August 4, 2010 (San Diego) – Over a thousand people celebrated in the streets of San Diego today after a federal judge declared Proposition 8, the initiative banning gay marriage, to be unconstitutional. Same-sex marriages could resume as early as tomorrow--or not at all, depending on a judge's ruling on a request for a stay to extend the ban pending appeal.
"Yesterday when the ruiling came out, our phones starting ringing off the hook," San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk Dave Butler told East County Magazine. Then word got out that the judge had issued a temporary stay until he hears arguments today and issues a decision on the stay. "The phones have been quiet today," Butler said.
If the judge rules against the stay, opponents of Prop 8 could try to persuade the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to issue one. "The process could take a day, or it could take a week or more," said Butler.
If no stay is ordered, the County Clerk's office will begin issuing marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples immediately. Asked if all employees will be required to perform gay marriages, Butler said the law requires that exceptions be made for those with religious objections. For all others, he confirmed, "Everyone needs to do their job and marry everyone who is legally entitled to marry." Gay marriages would be performed at all County Clerk offices, including the El Cajon office at 200 South Madison.
Gay rights advocates praised the court's decision finding Prop 8 unconstitutional, while opponents pegged their hopes on a pending appeal.
“Today’s ruling is a victory for equality and an affirmation for all Californians who believe that our state must never be party to keeping committed, loving couples apart,” said Jess Durfee, Southern California Chair of the California Democratic Party’s LGBT Caucus. He called the decision “the latest victory in a long march toward full equality,” adding that California Democrats will continue to fight on the side of basic fairness and equality under law until the right to marry is extended to all couples.”
Tony Krvaric, chairman of the San Diego Republic Party, condemned the decision. He accused an “activist judge” of legislating from the bench." Krvaric said the local GOP "affirms its unwavering support for traditional marriage.”