The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today abruptly lifted its injunction that barred same-sex marriages while Proposition 8 finished its course through the legal system. Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, who were plaintiffs in the lawsuit to invalidate the voter-approved initiative, were married starting at 4:45 p.m. at San Francisco City Hall. Soon after, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa married Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, the other plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Proposition 8, in a ceremony at Los Angeles City Hall.
The ceremony from Villaraigosa's conference room at Los Angeles City Hall was carried live on the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC. "I don't know about you, but I got goosebumps," Villaraigosa said at one point.
The court's action to allow same-sex marriages to resume in California came as a surprise to lawyers. The Supreme Court's decision on Proposition 8 does not become final for 25 days. During that time, it was expected that defenders of Proposition 8 would make a last-ditch stand to block a 9th Circuit ruling that found the law was unconstitutional. A stay from the appeals court was still in force that barred the marriages while the issue was settled. But today a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit terminated the stay in a single sentence: “The stay in the above matter is dissolved immediately.”
Gov. Jerry Brown followed by directing county clerks that they could begin marrying same-sex couples immediately. This is Gay Pride weekend in San Francisco, and the 44th anniversary of the start of the Stonewall Riots in New York.