Stay Ruling Sparks Mixed Emotions for Gay Community

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Pamela Brown, left, and her wife Shauna Brown are seen with the cake-toppers from their wedding cake.

    Judge Vaughn Walker's decision to put gay marriage on hold for another week brok the hearts of dozens of couples hoping to tie the knot at San Francisco City hall on Thursday.

    The chief U.S. District judge denied a motion for a stay on gay mariage following Walker's decision last week that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

    But in his denial, Walker gave opponents of same-sex weddings until Aug. 18 at 5 p.m. to get a ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on whether gay marriage should resume.

    The group that had gathered on the steps outside of city hallcheered as  they received word that Walker had ruled against a long-term stay.

    One man carrying a rainbow flag crouched down and began to cry.

    But the joyful reaction quickly turned to indignation a short time later as  the couples learned that the stay would not be lifted immediately. Some couples had arrived at city hall early Thursday morning in anticipation of Walker's decision.

    Charles J. Cooper, lead counsel for the initiative's proponents,  said in a statement that they plan to appeal "promptly."

    "On appeal we look forward with confidence to a decision  vindicating the democratic process and the basic constitutional authority of  the 7 million Californians who voted to retain the traditional definition of  marriage," Cooper said.

    One man who applauded the decision Thursday was Gov. Arnold Scwarzenegger.

    "I am pleased to see Judge Walker lift his stay and provide all  Californians the liberties I believe everyone deserves," he said. "Today's  ruling continues to place California at the forefront in providing freedom  and equality for all people."

    Bay City News contributed to this report.