California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who twice vetoed legislation that would have legalized same-sex marriage, has surprised gay rights supporters by urging a federal judge to allow gay couples to resume marrying in the state without further delay. Lawyers for Schwarzenegger, Attorney General Jerry Brown, two gay couples and the city of San Francisco all filed legal motions yesterday asking District Court Judge Vaughn Walker to implement his ruling striking California's same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional.
The governor and attorney general almost always defend state laws when challenged, regardless of their personal views. But in this case, both Schwarzenegger and Brown refused to fight the lawsuit aimed at overturning the ban, though both were named as defendants. Brown, the Democratic nominee to replace Schwarzenegger, was more active than Schwarzenegger in supporting the lawsuit that led Walker to invalidate Proposition 8.