California AG asks court to let gay marriages resume

The Sacramento BeeMarch 2, 2011 

Kamala Harris asks court to let gay marriages resume Published Wednesday, Mar. 02, 2011

California Attorney General Kamala Harris requested Tuesday that a federal appeals court lift a stay on a judge's decision declaring a voter- approved ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

Last week, lawyers challenging Proposition 8 also asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to lift the stay and allow same-sex marriages to be performed while the court decides the matter.

Same-sex marriage advocates were encouraged last week when President Barack Obama announced that his administration would no longer defend a federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

Legal experts said the president's position could strengthen the case of same-sex marriage proponents challenging Proposition 8 in federal court.

Harris' predecessor as attorney general, now-Gov. Jerry Brown, had also opposed the 9th Circuit's stay of U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's decision that Proposition 8 violated constitutional law.

"For 846 days, Proposition 8 has denied equality under the law to gay and lesbian couples," Harris said in a news release Tuesday. "Each and every one of those days, same-sex couples have been denied their right to convene loved ones and friends to celebrate marriages sanctioned and protected by California law."

UC Hastings College of the Law professor Rory Little said Harris' opposition would make little legal impact on the case.

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