The ongoing saga around same-sex marriages in California just took another twist… Last week’s decision by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker to invalidate Proposition 8 has been placed on hold while the court considers an appeal by Proposition 8 supporters.
So don’t go lining up at the California clerk of court’s office yet, California gays and lesbians.
Plaintiffs’ lawyers had argued that Proposition 8 violated the equal protection and due process portions of the U.S. Constitution. Judge Walker agreed, and ruled that same-sex marriages would be allowed to proceed in California beginning this coming Wednesday, August 18th. Instead, this ruling by a three-judge panel puts that decision on hold while the appeal works its way through the process.
Oral arguments (no jokes, please) will begin the week of December 6th, so it’s very likely the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals won’t make it’s decision until next year.
But it’s not over yet… Plaintiffs could choose to appeal this temporary stay to the U.S. Supreme Court with an emergency motion to vacate the hold issued by 9th Circuit. Justice Anthony Kennedy handles those sort of requests to the U.S. Supreme Court, so the short-term future of same-sex marriage in California may rest with him. Both sides agree that the odds of the Supreme Court stepping in before the Circuit Court’s decision are pretty slim, however.
Hang in there, Californians!