Calif. Court Blocks Gay Marriage

Grants stay while new court considers constitutionality of Prop 8
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 16, 2010 6:34 PM CDT
Married same-sex couple: Robin Tyler, left, and Dianne Olson react Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010, in West Hollywood, Calif.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(Newser) – A federal appeals court put same-sex weddings in California on hold indefinitely today while it considers the constitutionality of the state's gay marriage ban. The decision, issued by a three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, trumps a lower court judge's order that would have allowed county clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Wednesday.

Lawyers for the two gay couples that challenged the ban said they would not appeal the panel's decision. "We are very gratified that the 9th Circuit has recognized the importance and the pressing nature of this case," said one. The 9th Circuit agreed to expedite its consideration of the Prop 8 case, and will hear the case during the week of Dec. 6. A different three-judge panel than the one that issued today's decision will be assigned to decide whether Prop 8 is constitutional.

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