By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com March 23 2011 1:15 PM ET
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has denied a motion to lift the stay on same-sex
marriages in California pending an appeal of a federal decision that
reversed Proposition 8, the state's 2008 voter-approved marriage
The federal appeals court gave no reason for their denial. Prop. 8 opponents were hoping that same-sex marriages would be allowed while the appeal is decided. Currently, the Ninth Circuit is trying to figure out if the appeal even has standing, as the usual defenders of a California voter initiative — the governor and attorney general — refuse to defend Prop. 8. The Ninth Circuit has asked the California supreme court if antigay groups like Protect Marriage have the right to step in on behalf of the governor and attorney general to defend Prop. 8 in court. A decision on that will likely not be made until the fall.
The American Foundation for Equal Rights, which brought the original federal lawsuit against Prop. 8, released the following statement:
“Several weeks ago, we filed a motion with the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit asking the Court to lift its stay and allow California’s gay and lesbian couples to marry. We felt then, as we do now, that it is decidedly unjust and unreasonable to expect California’s gay and lesbian couples to put their lives on hold and suffer daily discrimination as second-class citizens while their U.S. District Court victory comes to its final conclusion.
It is un-American to deprive gay and lesbian couples of their fundamental constitutional right to marry. These are adults in committed, loving relationships who just want to live their lives without government interference.
Last August, the U.S. District Court declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional. We believe that the courts will permanently secure the freedom to marry for all Californians."