I haven’t found where anyone is writing about the fact that the next, and possibly more important Prop 8 hearing will take place. Today, Judge Walker will hear arguments on the motion to stay his recent decision pending the appeal request. On  Wednesday, he allowed a temporary stay until today’s hearing, but if I am understanding it correctly, the arguments presented today may determine if Same-sex couples wil again be able to marry in California, or if they will have to wait until the next higher court hears the appeal. That may not be for a while.

Maybe I don’t understand that correctly, or maybe others don’t see this as important, or maybe, everyone is too caught up in the intoxication of Wednesday’s decision, to recognize that what happens next in terms of what real people can or can not do, is far more important in practical terms than the 136 page decision that was just handed down. I suppose there is one other option. Maybe everyone is simply expecting that he won’t allow a stay until the appeals decision.

Given his decision, that is what I would expect, but what do I know? I have been surprised before by legal decisions. On the one hand, since there is no reason at all for the state to deny same-sex couples the right to marry, there is no reason, not to allow them to begin marrying right away. On the other hand, the Judge, and his decision are under heavy scrutiny. It could be seen as “pushing the gay agenda” to allow same-sex marriages to restart, and that could take someone away from the detailed, thoughtful, comprehensive,  and logical decision that the Judge wrote. At stake however, is the rights of thousands of California couples to marry over the next year or so, and to fail to allow that would be the same as doing what was deemed unacceptable in his decision.

I have always thought that the gay and lesbian couples who were married before Prop 8 was passed, are an enormous asset that hasn’t been talked about much. That they are married stands as evidence that gays and lesbians can and do maintain relationships based on love and commitment, just like straight couples do. So, I’d like to see this group grow, even if there is a chance that Walker’s decision could be overturned at the next higher court level.

While Wednesday’s decision was awesome, it didn’t really impact the trajectory of this issue from a legal perspective. The case would have been appealed no matter which way the Judge decided, so it was a done deal that the case would move forward, at least the next level of the system. Perhaps, there is speculation as to whether or not the decision will impact what happens after that. Did his decision against Prop 8 increase or decrease the likelihood that the Supreme Court will hear the case ? Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe it is the next court decision that will really impact that decision.

But, if overturning Prop 8 was really about fairness and equality, then there must be no waiting before allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.

2 Comments

  1. You are correct in what is about to happen today. PLEASE let me know the outcome of today's hearing as soon as you know.

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