Court: No gay marriages during Prop 8 case appeal

Two protestors who declined to give their names rally with other gay marriage supporters on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010, at the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd. and San Vicente Blvd. in West Hollywood, Calif. Protestors gathered following the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' freezing of a federal judge's decision ruling California's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8, unconstitutional, halting gay marriages in the state. (AP Photo/Adam Lau)

March 23, 2011 1:09:54 PM PDT
A federal appeals court in San Francisco Wednesday turned down a bid by two same-sex couples to allow gay marriages to resume in California while their legal case is pending.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a brief order turning down the couples' request that the panel lift a stay of a lower court ruling that allowed same-sex marriages.

The lower court ruling by now-retired U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker of San Francisco, said that Proposition 8, the state's ban on same-sex marriage, violated the U.S. Constitution.

Sponsors of the voter initiative are now seeking to appeal Walker's ruling to the federal appeals court.

The case has taken a detour to the California Supreme Court, which was asked by the federal court to decide whether the initiative sponsors have the right to appeal, in view of the fact that Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris have declined to do so.