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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Prop. 8 Backers Cover Their Asses

Posted By on Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 7:30 AM

click to enlarge gaymarriage_constitution.jpg
Those reading the tea leaves prior to Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling in the Proposition 8 trial this afternoon may want to pay attention to this large lump: The anti-gay marriage defendants in the case late yesterday filed a motion to stay the judgment pending an appeal.

What this means: The defense is  requesting that, should the state law barring same-sex marriage be declared unconstitutional today -- which the defense is apparently bracing for -- that Californians should not be able run out and have a same-sex marriage tomorrow. "A stay is essential to averting the harms that would flow from another purported window of same-sex marriage in California," reads yesterday's motion.

The pro-Prop. 8 forces argue in part for the stay by declaring their likelihood of prevailing on appeal -- also a strong indicator they are conceding this round.

Should same-sex couples be free marry tomorrow, "irreparable harm" would result. "Same-sex marriages would be licensed under a cloud of uncertainty, and should Proponents succeed on appeal, any such marriages would be invalid ab initio." ("from the beginning" in Latin). This situation, the Prop.8 backers argue, would be akin to San Francisco's issuing of 4,000 same-sex marriage licenses in 2004 the state later ruled it was unauthorized to do. "Repeating that experience would inflict harm on the affected couples and place administrative burdens on the State."

Walker will issue his long-anticipated ruling sometime between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. today. It is uncertain whether or not he will grant this stay -- though legal scholars SF Weekly has spoken with have predicted same-sex marriage will remain in limbo until a final ruling from the Supreme Court. Years from now.

Stay tuned.

You can read the motion for a stay here: 705-main.pdf

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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