Schwarzenegger, Brown Support Resuming Same-Sex Marriages

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Protesters at a rally supporting the overturning of Proposition 8.

Protestors supporting the overturning of Proposition 8. (Lisa Pickoff-White/KQED)

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown filed motions Friday calling for Judge Vaughn Walker to lift his stay on same-sex weddings in California.

While U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker overturned Proposition 8, the same-sex marriage ban, on Wednesday, he also agreed to block marriages from immediately resuming until he could hear arguments from both sides on whether to keep the marriage ban in effect until the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals could hear the case.

Schwarzenegger's motion stated that:

The Administration believes the public interest is best served by permitting the Court’s judgment to go into effect, thereby restoring the right of same-sex couples to marry in California. Doing so is consistent with California’s long history of treating all people and their relationships with equal dignity and respect. Conversely, the Administration submits that staying the Court’s judgment pending appeal is not necessary to protect any governmental or public interest. As the Court has pointed out, California has already issued 18,000 marriage licenses to same-sex couples without suffering any resulting harm. Government officials can resume issuing such licenses without administrative delay or difficulty. For these reasons, the Administration respectfully requests that the Court deny defendant-intervenors’ motion for stay.

Brown's motion stated that the constitutional right to same-sex marriage  outweighs any harm to the defendants, or any burden that the state might carry if future marriages of same-sex couples are later declared invalid.

It is unclear when Walker will issue a ruling on the possible resumption of same-sex marriages. Opponents to same-sex marriages are in the process of filing an appeal to the Ninth Circuit.

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About Lisa Pickoff-White

Lisa Pickoff-White is KQED's Senior Interactive News Producer. Her work has been honored with awards from the Online News Association, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Society of Professional Journalists and SXSW Interactive. Lisa specializes in visual journalism, including photography and data.
  • Kvin Burke

    What if you are already married? I mean, will all existing marriages be declared null and void while people scramble to find gay partners?

  • Roberto Ripamonti

    The point that everyone is missing about all of this is that this case will be largely decided on whether or not this injunction is granted. If Walker refuses to issue an injunction, as it looks like he might, and people start getting married immediately, it will be damn near impossible for the 9th circuit or the supreme court to overturn the ruling 3-5 years down the road, and invalidate a 100,000 marriages and all the attached community property rights attached thereto. They just won’t do it. And they would be very hard pressed to come up with a legal ruling that would allow those marriages to stay in tact but stop future marriages.

    The whole case is going to be decided on this issue. Of course, they will probably appeal Walker’s ruling on the injunction as well, but I think the injunction is going to make or break the case.