As soon as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifts its stay on Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision invalidating Prop 8, California will begin issuing same-sex couples marriage licenses. This is according to Governor Jerry Brown. This comes in the wake of the US Supreme Court telling the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that they were wrong to give the anti-gay groups standing to appeal the original ruling.
California is now the thirteenth state to have same-sex marriages. Should Illinois get its act together, they could very well be the fourteenth.
Governor Brown stated that “After years of struggle, the U.S. Supreme Court today has made same-sex marriage a reality in California. In light of the decision, I have directed the California Department of Public Health to advise the state’s counties that they must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in California as soon as the Ninth Circuit confirms the stay is lifted.”
He has so ordered. It may take a month for the order to be fulfilled, however.
Attorney General Kamala Harris also said “Equal protection under the law is a bedrock of our Constitution and fulfills our nation’s binding principle that all people are created equal and should live free of discrimination. I look forward to the day when all Californians are granted their full civil rights and can marry the person they love.”
Back in August 2010, Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that Prop 8 was unconstitutional under the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution. Today’s ruling may not have gone to every corner of the country, but it did invalidate Prop 8.
In an amicus brief filed by Harris, the issue of the damage that Prop 8 has done was discussed. She said in the brief that “The sole yet profound effect of Proposition 8 was to take away the right of gay and lesbian couples to call their union a ‘marriage’ and to strip loving relationships of validation and dignity under law. It did not change any of the legal rights and responsibilities afforded same-sex couples and their children under California law. To be clear, Proposition 8′s sole purpose was to prevent same-sex couples from marrying. There is absolutely no legitimate or rational state interest in doing so. Proposition 8 is therefore unconstitutional.”
The state Department of Public Health told the counties that it could be a month or more before the Ninth issues their ruling, but it will happen soon, so they are getting ready.