U.S. district chief judge Vaughn R. Walker will issue a written decision on the federal challenge to California's Proposition 8 on Wednesday afternoon, nearly seven months after the landmark trial began in a San Francisco courtroom.
According to the court, a decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger will be filed
between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday. The decision will
be available soon after on the court's website, available here. Advocate.com will have updates on the decision, its implications, and reactions from legal observers throughout the day.
Perhaps already preparing for a pro-gay marriage decision, attorneys defending Prop. 8 filed papers Tuesday night requesting a stay on Walker's decision pending appeal. Gay marriage opponents have previously said that they expect Walker to strike down Prop. 8. "Judge Walker has convinced me that he will rule for same-sex marriage, probably on the grounds that it’s a fundamental right and that it’s gender discrimination,” National Organization for Marriage president Maggie Gallagher told The Advocate in June.
High-profile attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies argued for the repeal of Proposition 8, representing two same-sex California couples in the suit who were denied marriage licenses. The ballot initiative, passed with 52% of the vote, overturned a California supreme court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage from June to November 2008.
During closing arguments in June, Olson, the former solicitor general under President George W. Bush whose decision to challenge Prop. 8 in federal court confounded many conservatives, said the evidence presented proved that denying same-sex couples marriage rights causes "grave, permanent, irreparable, and totally unnecessary harm."
"We have improved the institution of marriage when we allowed interracial couples to get married. We have improved the institution of marriage when we allowed women to be equal partners in the martial relationship ... And we will improve the institution of marriage ... when we eliminate this terrible stigma," Olson said.
Regardless of how Walker decides, legal observers expect that the case will be appealed to the ninth circuit court of appeals, a process that will "surely take more than a year," said Erwin Chemerinsky, founding dean of the University of California-Irvine School of Law.
Please send your Prop. 8 photos and video to firstname.lastname@example.org today.
Multiple post-decision rallies are expected in California and elsewhere in the country, including:
Los Angeles: 6 p.m. | West Hollywood Park | 647 N. San Vicente Blvd.
San Francisco: 5 p.m. | Castro & Market
San Diego: MARCH: 6 p.m. @ 6th and University avenues | RALLY: 7 p.m., LGBT Community Center, 3909 Centre Street
Long Beach: 6 p.m. | Bixby Park, Junipero & Cherry Avenue at Broadway Street
Sacramento: 6 p.m. | Party in the parking lot behind McMartin Realty at K and 21st Streets, for dancing and celebration with music and bands. (If Prop 8 is somehow upheld we will march to the capitol in protest.)
New York City: New York City Supreme Court 60 Centre St. New York, NY 7pm - 9pm
Boston: 6:00pm @ Copley Square, outside Copley T stop on Boylston Street
Denver: Colorado Responds- Prop 8 Decision Day Rally Lincoln Ave between Colfax and 14th 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Rex Wockner has a complete list of events on his blog.