Same-sex couples in California will have to delay their wedding bells even longer.
After a federal judge ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional on Aug. 4, same-sex couples in California hoped they would be able to get married as soon as this week. However, a federal appeals court today agreed to stay U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's order and set a hearing date for Dec. 6, meaning same-sex couples in California must now wait until 2011 for a decision.
Here's the take from Freedom to Marry executive director Evan Wolfson on today's developments:
"Today's 9th Circuit order expediting appeal of Chief Judge Walker's persuasive decision striking down Prop 8 and maintaining a stay during the appellate review, is a disappointing delay for many Californians who hoped to celebrate the freedom to marry and full inclusion in society as soon as possible. But there are many twists in the road to justice, and we are encouraged by the court's setting a fast pace for the appeal, revealing that the judges understand how important a quick end to the exclusion from marriage is to gay couples, their loved ones, and all Americans who believe in equality under the law. While the lawyers make the case for the freedom to marry in the courts of law, we have more months in which to make our case in the court of public opinion. The evidence at trial overwhelmingly confirmed that there is no good reason for withholding the freedom to marry from committed couples, and the Governor, the Attorney General, a majority of Californians, and a majority of Americans agree with Judge Walker that the freedom to marry helps families, while hurting no one. Prop 8 should never have been on the ballot and we look forward to seeing its stain removed from the law books, as we push forward on other fronts across the country."