Yolo County did not issue same-sex marriage licenses on the planned date of Aug. 19, after the federal appeals court extended a stay.
This decision came two weeks after federal district judge Vaughn Walker’s Aug. 4 announcement that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, allowing same-sex couples to marry in California.
Walker issued a six-day stay on his decision for the Ninth Circuit to review his decision, but many couples planned to wed as soon as the stay was lifted.
This decision was revoked only a few days later, however, when a federal appeals court panel extended the stay on same-sex marriages until it decides whether Prop. 8 is unconstitutional.
“Same-sex marriage is off the table, pending the appellate process,” said Yolo County Clerk-Recorder Freddie Oakley. “It’s unfortunate but it’s what you’d expect in an issue like this.”
Same-sex marriages will not resume until the appeals court decides the case. The Ninth Circuit panel requested the first briefs to be filed in September and for the appeal to be heard in court in December.
“It’s very disappointing for a lot of folks but it’s the normal process,” said Oakley. “If I were allowed to hitch up gay folks and the appellate court then decided they weren’t married, that would be harmful to them.”
It is possible that this case will ultimately reach the United States Supreme Court, which would likely further lengthen the hold.
“We are extremely disappointed that loving same-sex couples will have to wait to marry, and that we are once again being denied our fundamental rights,” said Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors in a press release. “However, we are optimistic for a favorable ruling, and we’re hopeful that same-sex couples will be able to marry as soon as possible.”
– Sarah Hansel
– Photo by Jeff Perry