Judge Lifts Ban on Same-Sex Marriage in California

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

The federal judge in California who declared a ban on same-sex marriage in the state to be unconstitutional, has decided to allow same-sex marriages to resume on August 18 at 5:00 p.m.

ABC News is reporting that Judge Vaughn Walker, the federal court judge and homosexual activist who overturned a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage last week, decided not to impose a stay until an appeal has been heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Walker’s ruling, handed down yesterday, made clear that “none of the factors the court weighs in considering a motion to stay favors granting a stay.”

Same-sex couples began marrying in the state in June 2008 but were blocked five months later by Proposition 8, a ballot measure that allowed the state’s constitution to be amended to define marriage as being between one man and one woman. Although the measure won the majority of the people’s vote, proponents of same-sex marriage have repeatedly challenged the ban in court.

Opponents of same-sex unions say the Judge’s decision to lift the ban on Wednesday is just another example of his judicial activism.

“When a lower judge makes an unprecedented ruling that totally overturns existing Supreme Court precedent, the normal thing for that judge to do is to stay his decision, and let the higher courts decide, in an orderly fashion that respects the rule of law, if he’s right or if he’s way off-base,” said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage.

Meanwhile, lawyers defending Proposition 8 have asked the Ninth Circult Court, known to be one of the most liberal courts in the country, to impose a stay on same-sex marriages while the court considers their appeal of Walker’s decision.

Unless the court chooses to do so, same-sex marriage in the state will be allowed beginning on Wednesday afternoon.  

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