SAN FRANCISCO - JUNE 17: A same-sex couple holds hands as they enter San Francisco City Hall June 17, 2008 in San Francisco, California. Same-sex couples throughout California are rushing to get married as counties begin issuing marriage license after a State Supreme Court ruling to allow same-sex marriage. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
The lawyers defending California's gay marriage ban are making one last argument on why an appeals court should block same-sex weddings while it decides the case.
Sponsors of Proposition 8 are appealing a federal judge's Aug. 4 decision that found the ban unconstitutional. Last Thursday Judge Vaughn Walker authorized same-sex weddings to begin again on Wednesday, August 18 in order to "permit the court of appeals to consider the issue in an orderly manner."
In documents filed Monday morning, ban backers argued that gay marriages would harm the state's interest in promoting responsible procreation through heterosexual marriage.
The judge also has ruled that county clerks may begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples on Wednesday unless the 9th Circuit appeals court decides otherwise.
The Proposition 8 legal team asked the court last week to stop the weddings. Plaintiffs lawyers and state Attorney General Jerry Brown urged the court to allow them.
A ruling could come as early as Monday afternoon, but is likely to come Tuesday. Whether same sex weddings should be able to continue while the case moves to a higher court, may end up in a higher court itself. If one side or the other doesn't like the appeal court ruling, they could take it to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Right now the ban of same-sex marriages is supposed to be lifted at 5:01 p.m. Wednesday. San Francisco City Hall has also announced it will stay open until 8 p.m. in order to accommodate couples who want to get married right away.
Right now only Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont recognize gay marriage.