That didn’t take long. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued the brief order dissolving the stay on same-sex marriages…looks at watch…twenty-three days sooner than they had predicted. This clears California to immediately start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after four and a half years of no marriages.
Matt Dorsey, a spokesman for San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, said that city officials were ready to start marrying same-sex couples forthwith.
It took just minutes for the two lead plaintiffs in the Perry case to get married with state Attorney General Kamala Harris officiating. Harris tweeted just after the order was issued that “On my way to SF City Hall. Let the wedding bells ring.”
Originally, the appellate court had said that they would not rescind the stay on same-sex marriages until twenty-five days had elapsed. This is because the losing side in the legal dispute had that long to ask the high court to rehear the case. However, because the groups were deemed to not have standing, and Governor Jerry Brown had made it clear he was not going to appeal the case back to the Supreme Court, they may have decided to just go ahead and rescind the stay.
The Perry case was originally heard by Judge Vaughn Walker, who is openly gay. Walker issued a meticulous ruling finding California’s Prop 8 to be unconstitutional. While he did not rule that same-sex marriage was a constitutional right, he found that, once given by the states, the voters could not rescind without due cause the right to get married.
The anti-gay groups behind Prop 8 were given standing to argue on behalf of Prop 8 by Walker. They were then given standing again by the appellate court, but the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the appellate court had made a mistake doing that and ordered them to rescind their ruling and stay leaving Walker’s decision the only valid one.
The Supreme Court may or may not hear a case in the near future about whether or not same-sex marriage is a universal right.