Same Gender couples began marrying again Friday in San Francisco after a federal appeals court cleared the way for weddings to begin after Wednesday’s US Supreme Court decision invalidating a voter-approved ballot measure barring such unions.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris came to San Francisco on Friday afternoon to preside over the first legal same-sex wedding in the gay-friendly city since former mayor — now lieutenant governor — Gavin Newsom authorized them for a few months in 2008.
“On my way to SF City Hall,” she tweeted after the appeals court issued its order, according to the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper.
“Let the wedding bells ring.”
The one-sentence order by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is based in San Francisco, had not been expected for at least three weeks.
That court had imposed a stay on gay marriages while a lawsuit challenging a voter-approved ban on such unions made its way through the federal courts. Matt Dorsey, a spokesman for San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, told the newspaper that couples would be allowed to get married right away.
Indeed, minutes after the appeals court order, the two lead plaintiffs in the case were standing in line at San Francisco City Hall to get a marriage license, the Chronicle said. The US Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the sponsors of California’s voter-approved gay marriage ban, Proposition 8, were not authorized to defend the initiative in court once Harris and California Gov. Jerry Brown declined to do so.
The decision let stand a trial judge’s ruling that the ban violated the civil rights of gay Californians and could not be enforced, the newspaper said. Because the losing side of a Supreme Court case has 25 days to ask for a rehearing, the high court said its decision on Proposition 8 would not be final until after that time.