California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris urged the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday to lift its stay and allow same-sex marriages to resume immediately.
Wednesday's order by the Supreme Court instructs the 9th Circuit to lift its stay on the original ruling in 2010 by U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker that found California's controversial Proposition 8 was unconstitutional.
The appellate court put a hold on Walker's decision pending the resolution of the legal fight.
The Supreme Court decision paved the way for gay marriages to resume in California, ruling the private sponsors of Proposition 8 did not have legal standing to appeal after the ballot measure was struck down by a federal judge in San Francisco.
However, it could be weeks before same-sex weddings resume, as it will be 25 days before the Supreme Court's ruling is finalized.
Harris called for the lower court to act sooner, urging them "in the strongest terms" to act before the 25 days pass "so that marriages can begin in California immediately."
"As soon as they lift that stay, marriages are on," she said. "The wedding bells will ring."
“After years of struggle, the U.S. Supreme Court today has made same-sex marriage a reality in California," Brown said in a statement. "In light of the decision, I have directed the California Department of Public Health to advise the state’s counties that they must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in California as soon as the 9th Circuit confirms the stay is lifted."
Harris heralded the decision at her news conference, calling it a "great day for our country." She noted attitudes about same-sex marriage were quickly changing within California and across the country.
"Today is a day that reaffirms our commitment as a country to giving every person equal protection and due process under the law," she said.
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