Schwarzenegger, Brown call for weddings to resume

August 7, 2010 12:53:09 AM PDT
After a historic legal ruling on Proposition 8 on Wednesday, there is another major victory for supporters of same-sex marriage. Both Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown are urging the judge to allow same-sex weddings to resume immediately.

The fact that the governor and the attorney general made the same request is considered to be a big deal. Their arguments are expected to carry a lot of weight as the judge in this case decides whether to let same-sex couples marry immediately.

Schwarzenegger was against Prop 8 from the very beginning, but on Friday took the extraordinary step of asking a federal judge to allow same-sex weddings to resume in California right away.

A legal brief written on behalf of Schwarzenegger says, "California has already issued 18,000 marriage licenses to same-sex couples without suffering any resulting harm. Government officials can resume issuing such licenses without administrative delay or difficulty."

"As the federal judge concluded, there's a fundamental right to marry," said Brown.

Brown also filed a motion in court and like Schwarzenegger, he's requesting that U.S. district court Judge Vaughn Walker impose his ruling immediately.

On Wednesday, Walker ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional -- that the right to marry one's chosen partner applies equally to all Californians.

"Normally we don't talk about delaying in the exercise of a right. That's what a right means. It's something deep within the fabric of our society that is available to all individuals," said Brown.

There's no telling if Walker will let his ruling become law immediately or if he will issue an extended stay, which would continue to prohibit same-sex marriages as this case moves through the higher courts.

"I think everyone believes it's going to go to the Supreme Court. Why muddle things up right now. Let's just play it through and find out once and for all what the decision's going to be," said Tom Loarie from the Catholic Business Journal.

But ABC7 legal analyst Dean Johnson said the fact that the state's top officers are requesting the stay be lifted, is a game changer, since they technically represent the public.

"The fact that the real defendants in this case, the state of California and the governor, are saying, 'We agree with the decision,' has to take care of that public interest consideration," said Johnson.

There is no time limit on when Walker can rule. No hearing has been scheduled and Walker has not said when he will make a decision.

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