Same-Sex Marriages Remain on Hold

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    SAN FRANCISCO - JUNE 17: Same-sex couple Paul Festa (R) and James Harker hold thier marriage certificate after they were married at 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)

    There will be no same-sex weddings in California this week.

    Late Monday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals grant an extended stay of Judge Vaughn Walker's order. The three-judge panel blocked a lower court ruling that would have allowed same-sex marriages to begin this Wednesday.

    "Appellants’ motion for a stay of the district court’s order of Aug. 4, 2010 pending appeal is GRANTED," the docket read.

    Walker ruled last week to allow gay marriages to continue starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday after he ruled the voter-approved Proposition 8 was unconstitutional.

    Supporters of the measure quickly appealed the judge's decision and they were making the final arguments as late as Monday.

    In Monday's ruling lawyers on both sides were given a time line to file briefs that stretch from mid-September to early November. 

    The ruling will block gay marriages until at least early November, when the final brief is due.  The court also set a timeline that calls for a hearing on the case the week of Dec. 6. 

    In a statement released following the ruling, plaintiffs in the case  said they are "gratified" by the expedited hearing schedule despite the fact  that same-sex couples won't yet be able to marry.   "As Chief Judge Walker found, Proposition 8 harms gay and lesbian  citizens each day it remains on the books," Attorney Theodore Olson said. "We  look forward to moving to the next stage of this case."

    This case stems from a federal lawsuit filed by two same-sex  couples who claim Proposition 8 violates their rights under the U.S.  Constitution.    

    On Aug. 4, Walker overturned Proposition 8, issuing a 136-page  ruling in which he found that the initiative violated the Constitution's  guarantees of due process and equal treatment

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