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CA Same-Sex Marriage Blocked by Court of Appeals

The 9th Court of Appeals has imposed an emergency stay on same-sex marriages in California. Sponsors of the California ban on same-sex marriage filed an emergency appeal, claiming that same-sex marriage would harm the state’s interest in promoting “responsible procreation through heterosexual marriage,” according to the Associated Press. Same-sex marriages were scheduled to resume in California on Thursday of this week as a result of US District Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling last week to remove a temporary stay on same-sex marriages. Walker had issued the stay earlier this month when he ruled to overturn Proposition 8. The original ballot measure was passed by California voters in November 2008 and altered the California constitution to define marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman, ending same-sex marriages in the state. Judge Walker’s opinion found that Proposition 8’s ban on same-sex marriage violated the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the 14th Amendment. The Feminist Majority Foundation released a statement applauding the decision. Judge Walker’s ruling was immediately appealed and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has set the schedule for new hearings in the case. Oral arguments will take place the week of December 6th, according to CNN, and a ruling is to be expected in early 2011. Lawyers for the two same-sex couples that challenged Proposition 8 have said they will not appeal the stay decision to the US Supreme Court, according to the Associated Press, because they are satisfied with the Circuit Court’s quick scheduling of the case. According to CNN, some legal experts say that if the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sides with Judge Walker’s decision to overturn Proposition 8, the United States Supreme Court may not seek to intervene because of legal precedence that suggests private citizen’s groups like the backers of Proposition 8 have no legal “standing” to continue appealing the case. In the two-page order issued by the 9th District Court of Appeals that levied the stay, the court also mandated that Proposition 8’s sponsors must address whether they have the legal right to attempt to have Judge Walker’s ruling overturned in their opening brief, due September 17th, according to the Associated Press. Attorney General Jerry Brown and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the original defendants in the case, have both declared their support of same-sex marriage, refusing to defend Proposition 8 in court, reported CNN.

Sources:

Feminist Newswire 8/12/10, 8/4/10, 11/6/08, 6/17/08, 5/15/08; Feminist Majority Foundation Press Release; Perry v. Schwarzenegger Opinion; CNN 8/16/10, 8/8/10; Associated Press 8/17/10

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