California’s attorney general is asking a judge to allow same-sex marriages to resume in the state immediately, without waiting for a ruling on whether a law banning gay marriage is constitutional.
Attorney General Kamala Harris Tuesday filed a letter with the federal appeals court that is considering the case. A federal judge has already struck down the law, known as Proposition 8, that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
But a different judge put the ruling on hold – stopping gay marriages – until an appeal was heard. The state supreme court is now weighing whether that appeal should go forward. It will depend on whether or not the supreme court finds the defenders of Proposition 8 have legal standing to fight the appeal, given that the top state officials declined to do so. That ruling may not be made until the end of the year.
In her letter, Harris said it was unlikely the supreme court would support the legal standing for the lawsuit, and so keeping Proposition 8 in effect in the meantime was denying Californians their equal rights.
She said the case was also “substantially diminished” by the recent decision by U.S. President Barack Obama to stop defending a similar federal law, that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.