Attorneys who brought the federal case against Proposition 8 asked the U.S. court of appeals for the ninth circuit to lift the court-imposed stay on marriage equality in California.
A three-judge panel of the ninth circuit had imposed that stay last year without comment after U.S. district judge Vaughn Walker ruled the 2008 voter initiative unconstitutional. Gay couples are still unable to wed in California as a result.
“There there can be no justification for prolonging the suffering of plaintiffs and the tens of thousands of couples like them for an additional year,” attorney Ted Olson wrote in a court filing.
“Having prevailed at trial, having demonstrated that they had a fundamental right to marry, and having shown beyond dispute that Proposition 8 works irreparable harm upon gay and lesbian Californians by denying them that right,” Olson wrote, “it is simply intolerable for this Court to continue to deny them that right and to perpetuate their pain for such a length of time — especially given that this Court itself has recognized that Proponents may well have no right to appeal at all.”
The move comes on the same day the Department of Justice announced it will not defend section 3 of the 15-year-old Defense of Marriage Act in federal court after a directive from President Barack Obama.