Gay couples ask court to allow weddings immediately

August 13, 2010 11:59:00 PM PDT
They worked well into the night at the San Francisco city attorney's office Friday. Terry Stewart and her team of lawyers got word Friday afternoon that they had until 11 p.m. to write a brief to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on why same-sex weddings should resume immediately, despite the fact it could take months if not years for the issue to be settled through the appeals process.

"I didn't expect it to be, 'OK, file something tonight by 11 p.m.' I thought it might be you have until tomorrow at evening or something like that," Stewart said.

The tight timeframe is the result of a date set by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker. Last week, he ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional. Then on Thursday, Walker lifted a stay allowing gay weddings to resume, but not until 5 p.m. Wednesday.

"The 9th Circuit, I think, wants to make a decision by the end of business Monday so that the parties will have Tuesday and possibly the early part of Wednesday to go the Supreme Court if they choose to do so," ABC7 legal analyst Dean Johnson said.

Opponents of same-sex marriage are hoping to have better luck with the high courts.

"I'm hoping that around the state you'll have county recorders that will refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses because they as public servants should be representing the people they serve which did uphold Proposition 8," Prop 8 supporter Luke Otterstad said.

As for lawyers at the San Francisco city attorney's office, they spent hours crafting their brief. Among their main points -- resuming weddings in California is not going to hurt anyone.

"The opponents of same-sex marriage have not shown that allowing the court's order to take effect and therefore same-sex couples to marry is going to cause any terrible harm. How could they? We have 18,000 married couples in California and there has been no harm to anybody," Stewart said.

Briefs are filed electronically, so lawyers in support of same-sex marriage were working up until the final minutes before the 11 p.m. deadline.

Now that it has been filed, opponents of same-sex marriage have a chance to reply, and their deadline is Monday at 9 a.m.

uReport: Powered by YouTube
Take part in the news. Send videos and photos of reaction to the Prop 8 ruling to uReport@kgo-tv.com, or visit uReport.abc7news.com.

Looking Back At Prop 8
Judge keeps gay marriages in Calif. on hold
Schwarzenegger, Brown call for weddings to resume
Appeal filed over Prop 8 ruling
Couples celebrate Prop 8 ruling at SF City Hall
Castro District celebrates Prop 8 ruling
PHOTOS: California reaction to Prop 8 ruling
Judge rules Prop 8 unconstitutional
Future of Proposition 8 now in hands of judge
PHOTOS: Final day of Prop 8 trial
Prop 8 trial re-enacted on the web
Defense lawyers rest case at Prop 8 trial
PHOTOS: Same-sex marriage on trial in SF
Defense presents first witness in Prop 8 case
SF economist says gay marriage ban costs city
Prop 8 attorneys talk history of marriage
Groundbreaking same-sex marriage trial starts in SF
Judge refuses to dismiss Prop 8 suit
San Francisco joins federal battle over Prop 8
Governor wants speedy Prop 8 resolution
Prop 8 fight may head to U.S. Supreme Court
Couples challenge Prop 8 with lawsuit
PHOTOS: Prop 8 upheld in California
Castro District reacts to Prop 8 ruling
Calif. high court upholds gay marriage ban
Hundreds pray on eve of Prop 8 ruling
Justices hear Proposition 8 arguments
Mormon churches role in Prop 8 investigated
Court agrees to hear Prop 8 challenges
California remains conflicted about Prop 8
Prop 8 constitutionality challenged
No on 8 campaign concedes defeat
Same-sex couples scramble to get married
Proposition 8 campaigning begins


Load Comments