California attorney general Kamala Harris filed a brief with the ninth circuit U.S. court of appeals Tuesday that asked the court to immediately reinstate same-sex marriage in the Golden State.
An appeal is pending of federal judge Vaughn Walker's decision that declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional in August 2010. The appeals court has asked the California supreme court to decide whether plaintiffs in the appeal — antigay groups like ProtectMarriage.com — have standing to defend Prop. 8 under state law, since California's governor and attorney general refuse to defend it.
The appeal’s likelihood of success has been substantially diminished, Harris said in her statement to the court, “both by the United States Attorney General’s conclusion that classifications based on sexual orientation cannot survive constitutional scrutiny and by this Court’s certification order to the California Supreme Court, which seriously questions the Court’s jurisdiction to decide the merits of the case.”
Harris also said in her statement that Prop. 8 proponents will not suffer any harm or injury should gay couples be allowed to marry. She also cited the decision by President Barack Obama and the Justice Department not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in an appeals court.
Harris, who previously served as San Francisco's district attorney, has long championed marriage equality.
“For 845 days, Proposition 8 has denied equality under law to gay and lesbian couples,” Harris said in her statement. “Each and every one of those days, same-sex couples have been denied their right to convene loved ones and friends to celebrate marriages sanctioned and protected by California law. Each one of those days, loved ones have been lost, opportunities have been missed, and justice has been denied.”