Federal appeals court is expected to wait on Prop. 8 action

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed it is likely to be at least 25 days before gay marriages can resume in California.

Just before noon Wednesday, California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris urged the federal appeals court at a news conference to lift its stay on a 2010 lower court ruling declaring Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional.

The court’s normal process is “to wait to be notified of the judgment by the clerk of the Supreme Court. That won’t happen until the 25-day period expires. Once the judgment is received, the panel that decided the case will take action,” David J. Madden, an appeals court official, told The Times.

Madden said the court had not received any legal paperwork from Harris asking them to expedite the process.

Once the appeals court acts, Gov. Jerry Brown has ordered all 58 counties in California to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.


“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 urged the federal appeals court “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.”

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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Twitter: @mauradolan