California gay marriage supporters seek end to ban

SAN FRANCISCO Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:04pm EST

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Gay marriage supporters asked a U.S. appeals court on Wednesday to allow California's same sex marriage ban to be lifted immediately, due to delays in resolving the overall case.

California voters in 2008 approved a ban on gay marriage, called Proposition 8, and the matter has since been winding its way through the courts.

Last year a federal judge in San Francisco found Proposition 8 unconstitutional. That judge ordered Proposition 8 lifted, but an appeals court put that on hold pending appeal.

Earlier this month, the California Supreme Court agreed to provide guidance on one part of the case, which will delay a final ruling in the federal courts. So same sex marriage proponents asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday to end the marriage hold.

"How long must gay and lesbian Californians suffer the daily depravation of fundamental rights that Proposition 8 inflicts?" Ted Olson, one of the attorneys representing two same sex couples in the case, said on Wednesday.

ProtectMarriage.com, which supports Proposition 8, argued that the ban should continue.

"We really see this (legal move by supporters of gay marriage) as an attempt to impose a redefinition of marriage on all of California by judicial fiat," said Andrew Pugno, general counsel for ProtectMarriage.com.

The same sex marriage supporters also asked the California Supreme Court last week to move faster on its part of the case. Once the state Supreme Court weighs in, the case will return to the 9th Circuit for a final ruling.

It could eventually to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which would set national policy if it agreed to hear the case.

Should the 9th Circuit lift the stay in the coming weeks, though, Pugno said an appeal would send the case to the U.S. Supreme Court very quickly.

In that scenario, the high court would have to evaluate the merits of the entire case to decide on the stay, Pugno said.

The California gay marriage ban is one of several judicial and political battles over same-sex marriage, which is barred in most of the nation and legal in the District of Columbia and five states -- Connecticut, Massachusetts, Iowa, New Hampshire and Vermont.

In a significant shift on Wednesday, President Barack Obama told government lawyers to stop defending in court a federal law that bans same sex marriage, the Justice Department said.

(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Greg McCune)

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Comments (2)
CornetMustich wrote:
It’s time.
Cheers, Joe Mustich, CT Justice of the Peace, Washington, CT USA
Kudos to CT for supporting SSM since 2008.

Feb 23, 2011 9:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SteveMD2 wrote:
It sabout time. AmeriKKKa is so far behind the rest of the world. Our problem primarily is the southern christian bible belt thumpers. Who lost the battle re slavery and segregation, women voting, allowing inter-racial marriage.

So they have a new victim group to hate. To show you how far gone they are, they call their hate love. And they really believe it.

these are also the people who follow Pat Robinston – who said of the terrible earthquake in Haiti – “they deserved it”

His goal was to keep his terrified followers in line. So he can continue to rake in the millions, fly around in private jets,. own multiple homes . while lots of his believers kiss his derriere although theey dont have running water or shoes for their children.

Feb 23, 2011 10:58pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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