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.