Backers of California’s ban on same-sex marriage have asked a federal appeals court in San Francisco not to allow gay and lesbian weddings to resume during the months it will take to resolve the constitutional case.
The sponsors of Proposition 8 and their committee, Protect Marriage, urged the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in papers filed Monday to maintain a stay the court initially issued in August.
That stay temporarily blocked a decision in which U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker of San Francisco struck down Proposition 8.
In Monday’s filing, the sponsors argued there has been “no significant change in facts or law that would warrant upsetting this court’s sound decision to stay the district court judgment pending appeal.”
Last month, two same-sex couples asked the appeals court to lift the stay during appeals of Walker’s ruling. Earlier this month, California Attorney General Kamala Harris filed a statement supporting that request.
Harris and the couples cited the Obama administration’s decision to stop defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act in court.
But the Proposition 8 supporters argued that the Obama administration’s change of position makes little difference to the challenge to the state voter initiative.
They said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s position was “weakly reasoned” and that the U.S. law, which pertains only to federal recognition of same-sex marriage, doesn’t affect state laws on the subject.
The sponsors also argued that a procedural detour of the case to the California Supreme Court doesn’t decrease the backers’ chances of eventually winning their appeal of Walker’s decision.
The appeals court has no deadline for acting on the request of lift the stay.
Julia Cheever, Bay City News