Supporters of same-sex marriage just got a powerful ally: California Attorney General Kamala Harris. The newly minted AG is urging the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to allow gay couples to marry while it considers a federal appeal over the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the state's ban on gay marriage.
That ruling could take up to a year.
Harris, San Francisco's former district attorney, has long supported gay marriage. She's in good company: Last week, President Obama said he would no longer defend the federal law that bans same-sex marriage.
Today, Harris filed an argument in the Court of Appeals to lift the order that puts gay marriages on hold and allow county clerks to start marrying same-sex couples again.
Courage Campaign founder Rick Jacobs says time is of the essence for California gay couples.
County, we have an example of a couple that is suffering irreparable
harm because of the delay. One is 79, one is 78, they've been together
since 1970, and they want to get married. One recently was diagnosed
with Alzheimer's...he wants to get married while he still can understand
he can get married," he said.
Earlier this month, the state Supreme Court decided
it would rule on whether ProtectMarriage, the sponsor of Prop. 8, has the
right -- or "standing" -- to appeal the federal court decision that ruled the ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.
All of this, of course, takes time.
"The judicial system is missing the point," Jacobs says, "We don't
need the Supreme Court to go on vacation all summer long, and then come
in and hear arguments, and then it go back to federal court. That's