Appeals Court Blocks Same-Sex Marriages in California Until December

Sacramento – Gay couples looking to get married will have to wait longer. The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of appeals on Monday blocked same-sex unions until at least December.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who ruled unconstitutional the gay marriage ban under California’s Proposition 8, had stayed that ruling until Wednesday, opening the door to possible marriages after the stay expired.

But the 9th Circuit extended the stay until the appeal can be heard. That won’t happen until December, making a decision from the court in 2010 virtually impossible.

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Opponents of Proposition 8 noted that the 9th Circuit expedited its review of the merits of the case, which should deliver a final resolution — most likely at the U.S. Supreme Court — earlier than would occur under the appellate court’s normal pace of business.

“We are very gratified that the Ninth Circuit has recognized the importance and pressing nature of this case and the need to resolve it as quickly as possible by issuing this extremely expedited briefing schedule.,” aid Attorney Theodore B. Olson in a prepared statement. “As Chief Judge Walker found, Proposition 8 harms gay and lesbian citizens each day it remains on the books. We look forward to moving to the next stage of this case.”