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Governor also urges resumption of gay weddings

August 6, 2010 |  4:01 pm

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger urged a federal judge Friday to permit same-sex weddings to resume immediately, arguing that California is well-equipped to perform gay nuptials.

"As the Court has pointed out, California has already issued 18,000 marriage licenses to same-sex couples without suffering any resulting harm," Schwarzenegger's office said in written arguments to U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker. "Government officials can resume issuing such licenses without administrative delay or difficulty."

The governor said Walker's sweeping ruling that overturned Proposition 8 was "consistent with
California’s long history of leading the way in recognizing the rights of gay and lesbian families to order their relationships and manage their day-to-day lives. California’s public interest is served by giving the Court’s judgment effect now."

The sponsors of Proposition 8 have argued that permitting gay nuptials now would be an administrative hardship for the state because higher courts could later invalidate the marriages.

Walker put his decision on hold Wednesday to give all parties time to argue whether a hold should be extended. The jurist said he would rule after reviewing the arguments presented Friday.

The sponsors of Proposition 8 are appealing Walker's ruling to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the case is eventually expected to reach the U.S. Supreme Court. The sponsors have told Walker they would go to the high court for a stay or hold if they fail to obtain one from him or the appeals court.

-- Maura Dolan in San Francisco