Same-sex "weddings" in California are on hold indefinitely after a federal appeals court blocked them while it considers the constitutionality of the state's ban on homosexual unions. (Story from Associated Press appears below)
U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker, a practicing homosexual, ruled earlier this month against Proposition 8, which was approved in November 2008 by California voters to protect traditional marriage. He also ordered homosexual marriages to resume August 18, pending appeals. But Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) attorney Daniel Blomberg tells OneNewsNow that the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a stay against implementation.
"And of course it made no sense to impose a radical change in marriage on the people of California before all the appeals were heard on their behalf," says the attorney. "So the Ninth Circuit's decision is really the right call here."
According to Blomberg, that is the decision that should have come from the lower court. "Refusing to stay the decision only created more legal confusion surrounding any sort of unions that would have been created while the appeal was pending," he explains, "so the Ninth Circuit clearly made the right call.
"This case has just begun, and ADF and the rest of the legal team are confident the right of Americans to protect marriage in their state constitutions will ultimately be upheld."
Blomberg adds that if the Ninth Circuit does not uphold the right of seven-million Californians to amend their constitution to protect marriage, then the case will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
...FROM ASSOCIATED PRESS...
SAN FRANCISCO - Same-sex "weddings" in California are on hold indefinitely after a federal appeals court blocked them while it considers the constitutionality of the state's ban on homosexual unions.
The decision, issued Monday by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, trumps Judge Vaughn Walker's order that would have allowed same-gender marriages to begin on Wednesday.
Walker had previously ruled that the ban, known as Proposition 8, violated the constitutional rights of homosexuals, who he said should not face discrimination based on "moral and religious views." The ban's sponsors appealed that ruling and also asked the 9th Circuit to block same-sex weddings in the meantime. They claimed in papers filed with the 9th Circuit that homosexual marriages would harm the state's interest in promoting responsible procreation through heterosexual marriage.
The appeals court won't take up the case until December, but ordered Proposition 8 sponsors to address in their opening brief due September 17 whether they have standing to try to have Walker's ruling overturned. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and California Attorney General Jerry Brown, the original defendants in the case, support same-sex marriage and have refused to defend Proposition 8 in court.
Under the timetable laid out Monday, it was doubtful a decision would come down from the 9th Circuit before next year. A different three-judge panel than the one that issued Monday's decision will be assigned to decide the constitutional question that many believe will eventually end up before the Supreme Court. (More details)
Currently, same-sex couples can legally wed only in Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Washington, DC.