According to a court order issued late Monday, California’s ban on gay marriage will continue until at least December.
The decision came from a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. court of Appeals. California’s gay marriage ban is remaining in effect until oral arguments are scheduled.
District Court Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling earlier this month invalidating the California law, known as Prop 8, was a huge victory for gay rights supporters. Monday's order puts that decision on hold but there's a clear indication from the Ninth Circuit that there may be a serious problem with the appeal.
The two page order directs Prop 8 supporters to address whether they hav the legal ability to challenge Judge Walker’s decision. The order states, “"In addition to any issues appellants wish to raise on appeal, appellants are directed to include in their opening brief a discussion of why this appeal should not be dismissed for lack of Article III standing,"
In December, the Ninth Circuit will have to determine if Prop 8 supporters will be harmed if Walker's ruling takes full effect, or to put it simply, will supporters be injured if homosexuals are allowed to marry. Supporters of the measure argue that California state law precedents give them the standing right to challenge Judge Walker’s decision.
Lawyers for the Prop 8 defenders argued in their brief to the Ninth Circuit that California courts have “repeatedly allowed proponents to intervene to defend initiatives they have sponsored.”
The lawyers representing the gay couples who are defending Judge Walker’s ruling point to a 1997 Supreme Court decision which casts “grave doubts” on the courtroom rights of ballot initiative supporters.
They claim that Prop 8 supporters lack standing to file an appeal and note that none of the state’s key lawmakers, like Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger or Attorney General Jerry brown, who normally have standing to file suit have done so.