SAN FRANCISCO, (KCBS)_ Chief Judge Vaughn Walker who ruled last week that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional denied a motion today from the measure’s supporters to stay his ruling.
He says they will not be harmed by allowing same-sex marriage, but gay couples would be if their right to marriage is denied any longer.
However, his ruling would not go into effect until 5 p.m. Wednesday, August 18th, giving proposition 8 proponents time to appeal. If the appeals court fails to act by 5 p.m. local time next Wednesday, then gay marriages can go forward.
Dozens of gay couples gathered outside City Hall in San Francisco on Thursday to hear the judge’s ruling.
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who opposes Prop. 8, applauds the judge’s decision.
“There’s no more reason to deny people their constitutional rights. I think that’s why Judge Walker came down the way he did,” said Herrera.
Jim Campbell with the pro Prop. 8 Alliance Defense Fund, is already asking the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to overrule Judge Walker and extend the stay.
“The protect marriage.com legal team will immediately appeal, but I think our response here is that this case has just begun,” stated Campbell.
That remains to be seen.
University of San Francisco Law Professor Julie Nice pointed to a significant passage in today’s decision where the judge doubts that the Prop. 8 defendants will even be heard by the appeals court since the actual defendants; Gov. Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown are declining to defend Prop. 8 and want same-sex marriage to resume.
“Because no state defendant has appealed Judge Walker’s ruling, it’s not at all clear that the proponents of the initiative have standing to continue with this case on their own,” observed Nice.
Many believe the case is destined for the Supreme Court.