Ninth Circuit: No Gay Weddings Until at Least December

San Francisco, CA – Today, a three judge panel of the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco decided to put on hold the blockbuster ruling by Judge Vaughn Walker striking down Prop. 8. This means that no gay marriages can take place in California until at least early December, when the Ninth Circuit will hear arguments as to whether the proponents of Prop. 8 have the legal authority to appeal Judge Walker’s decision. However, the opponents of Prop 8. could choose to appeal today’s decision to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has authority over the Ninth Circuit and could lift the stay on his own.

In a move that further infuriated backers of Prop. 8, Judge Walker last week indicated that he did not believe that the official proponents of Prop. 8,, would be able to appeal the case since the official defendants, Governor Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown, have refused to defend the voter-approved law.

Attorney Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, commented, “We are pleased that the Ninth Circuit has recognized the importance of maintaining voter-approved traditional marriage pending further examination of this case. We strongly believe that the official proponents of Prop. 8 have legal standing in this case, and it would create a constitutional crisis if the courts were to deny any opportunity for the people of California to defend their own enactment simply because their elected representatives refuse to do so.”