Court blocks California gay marriage as appeal is considered

Aug 16th, 2010 | By admin | Category: Featured

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — A US court on Monday blocked same-sex marriages in California while an appeal of a landmark decision to overturn a state ban is considered, putting on hold ceremonies that would have resumed this week.

The decision by the federal court of appeals came hours after gay marriage opponents urged the ban on the unions to be maintained in the West Coast state.

“California, 44 other states, and the vast majority of countries throughout the world continue to draw the line at marriage because it continues to serve a vital societal interest,” the appeal said.

The purpose of marriage is between members of the opposite sex “to channel potentially procreative sexual relationships into enduring, stable unions for the sake of responsibly producing and raising the next generation,” it said.

Last week, Judge Vaughn Walker authorized same-sex weddings to begin again on August 18 in order to “permit the court of appeals to consider the issue in an orderly manner.”

Some 18,000 gay and lesbian couples tied the knot between May and November 2008 when gay marriage was briefly allowed by the state of California.

The controversial issue could make its way to the US Supreme Court.

Currently only the states of Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, as well as the US capital Washington, recognize gay marriage.

© 2010 AFP

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