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California Supreme Court refuses to speed up ruling on key issue in gay marriage battle

The California Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to speed up its consideration of a key question in the appeal over the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage.

The state high court issued a one-sentence order denying a request for an accelerated briefing and hearing schedule. The court has agreed to determine the legal rights of initiative sponsors but said a hearing  would not be held until September at the earliest.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeal asked the California court to decide whether state law gives initiative sponsors the legal right to defend ballot measures when state officials refuse to do so. Its decision will determine whether Proposition 8 is overturned on narrow procedural grounds with limited impact or whether the case eventually reaches the U.S. Supreme Court on constitutional questions.

The Courage Campaign, an online group that advocates for social justice, issued a statement denouncing the California Supreme Court's refusal to speed up its hearing schedule on the matter.

“Every minute of state sanctioned discrimination is a minute too long," the group said. "The California Supreme Court’s decision to put its own summer vacation plans before the lives of thousands of California families is an outrage, and it must not be allowed to stand.” 

Also Tuesday, California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris urged a federal appeals court to permit same-sex couples to marry during an appeal of last year’s ruling that overturned Proposition 8.

In arguments filed with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Harris asked the court to lift a hold on a federal court order directing the state to permit gays to marry. U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who served on the bench in San Francisco, ruled in August that the marriage ban violated constitutional rights to due process and equal protection.

Harris sided with two same-sex couples who sued to overturn Proposition 8 in arguing that the hold must be removed now that  the appeal is taking more time than expected. 

“For 846 days Proposition 8 has denied equality under law to gay and lesbian couples,” Harris told the court. “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.”

--Maura Dolan

Comments () | Archives (10)

It appears the CA Supreme Court is intentionally delaying the process. It's either yes or no, based on past case law. Why should this take until September to answer?

I suppose that they should quantify that term "due process." That the problem with law; it's all so arbitrary, therefore, subject to any idiot's (read: judges') interpretation.

Impeach Harris. As AG she is obligated to enforce the law, not seek to overturn it.

The California Supreme Court showed great courage in saying that Gays had the right to marry and used sound legal reasoning to do so. Then after the passage of Prop 8 they lost their courage and apparently all the good legal reasoning they showed and did a stupid thing. Now they want to avoid doing the right thing for as long as they can hoping that a ruling by the US Supreme Court will save their sorry butts. I am glad Harris has done what she should in keeping this on the front burner. California is saddled with some judges that had this been slavery would have ruled against the slaves. They are no longer useful and should be put out to pasture.

There us a VERY good reason why gay-marriage supporters want this to be lifted RIGHT NOW...because they know that even if Prop 8 is UPHELD in a higher court, the gay marriages that already have taken place between now and then will NOT be annulled or otherwise canceled.

That is exactly what happened before and with the EXTREMELY high likelihood that Walker's blatantly BIASED ruling will be overturned, that is their best chance to sneak in more marriages like the ones that slipped through the legal cracks in the system previously.

I think they are concerned about there jobs, because we
have voted against this, I don,t know, maybe a hundred times! DUH!

God ordained marriage between a man and woman.

I have a good idea let's follow Islam's law concerning marriage!

"...Walker's blatantly BIASED ruling..."

Blah blah blah...bias isn't a gay judge ruling on gay legal issues any more than a female judge ruling on women's rights issues. But hey, we all know this isn't about facts, it's how you FEEL about the law. If it were about facts, Prop 8 supporters wouldn't be whining about a majority as if they won by more than a few percent last time!

I don't live in California. I'm not familiar with your constitution. I wanted to know more about this issue and how this whole Prop 8 thing got started so I looked up your State Constitution and it says, Article 1 sec 7.5 Marriage is between a man and a woman. That seems pretty clear to me. How is it that the California Supreme Court could claim that marriage is not just between a man and a woman and then petition the people of your state to come together to submit or petition for a law towards that end and then you end up with Prop 8 which is trying to enforce whats already apart of your state constitution? Very confusing? And it appears that Prop 8 was put together properly according to your state laws and requirements. No, judgements of foul play through the court system have come to light concerning the citizens who put Prop 8 together. And I've also read that your State Att General and others that swore to uphold the law of the land are not defending the laws of your State? Something does not seem to be right? I'm willing to listen to anyone that can enlighten me on this subject. Thanks


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