Judge keeps gay marriages in California on hold

Aug 12th, 2010 | By admin | Category: Featured

California voters passed Proposition 8 as a state constitutional amendment in November 2008, five months after the California Supreme Court legalized same-sex unions and an estimated 18,000 same-sex couples already had tied the knot.

Three people protested among the crowd to oppose Walker’s ruling Thursday.

“It’s a really sad day for Californians, for families, for our future and for voters that a federal judge has trampled on the civil rights of voters,” said Luke Otterstad, 24, of Sacramento.

Lawyers for gay couples, California Gov. Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown filed legal motions Friday asking that same-sex marriages be allowed to resume immediately.

Walker said on Thursday that ban proponents didn’t convince him that anyone would be harmed by allowing same-sex marriages to resume.

“The evidence at trial showed, however, that Proposition 8 harms the state of California,” Walker said.

Walker also turned aside arguments that marriages performed now could be thrown into legal chaos if Proposition 8 is later upheld by an appeals court.

But Walker said such weddings would appear to be legal even if the ban is later reinstated. He pointed to the 18,000 same-sex couples who married legally in the five months that gay marriage was legal in California as proof.

Walker also said that no one can claim harm by allowing same-sex weddings to go forward, but banning them harms gays.

Finally, Walker said it also appears doubtful that the opponents of the ban have any right to appeal his decision striking down a state law that he said should have been defended by either Gov. Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Brown.

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