Federal Judge Vaughn R. Walker made the right call Thursday by lifting a stay on his ruling that Proposition 8 — the initiative that bans same-sex marriage in California — is unconstitutional.
If you believe that Proposition 8 violates the rights of an individual group — as Walker ruled on Aug. 4 — then it makes little sense to perpetuate the violation of those rights. By lifting his stay, Walker creates the opportunity for gay and lesbian couples to resume marriages after Aug. 18.
Whether or not there will be lines at the courthouse steps remains to be seen. Proponents of Proposition 8 say they will seek an immediate stay from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. If need be, they have vowed to go to the U.S. Supreme Court to obtain a permanent stay pending appeal.
Even among some supporters of same-sex marriages, there is ambivalence about letting the wedding bells chime while the legal system continues to review the constitutionality of Proposition 8. Some argue it would be cruel for same-sex couples to marry, only to find their unions thrown into doubt by a future decision in favor of Proposition 8.
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