In what has been described as an "extraordinary" court filing, California Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has filed a brief urging that same sex marriages be allowed to resume immediately in California after this week's historic federal ruling that the state's voter-approved ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.
Schwarzenegger joins Attorney General Jerry Brown in filing a motion opposing an extension of Chief U.S. District Judge Walker's stay. Schwarzenegger and Brown were defendants in Proposition 8 lawsuit but refusing to defend the initiative in court
In court papers, the Republican governor and Democratic attorney general argued that Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker already established this week that gay and lesbian couples should have the legal right to marry in California. "The administration believes the public interest is best served by permitting the court's judgment to go into effect, thereby restoring the right of same-sex couples to marry in California," the governor's lawyers wrote. "Doing so is consistent with California's long history of treating all people and their relationships with equal dignity and respect." Both the governor and Brown noted that about 18,000 same-sex couples are legally married in the state, having secured marriage licenses before Proposition 8 went into effect in November 2008, and there has not been "any resulting harm."
Anticipating defeat, attorneys defending Proposition 8 filed a preemptive motion asking Walker to stay his ruling. Prop 8's defenders also appealed Walker's decision to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco and asked for a stay.
Walker asked for written arguments on a stay by Friday and has not said when he will rule.
Schwarzeneger has twice vetoed bills to legalize same sex marriage, saying they contradicted the will of the people as expressed at the polls. And with that position now untenable, "[Schwazenegger] has now weighed and said, 'Enough,' " said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California. "Having the state say there's no reason to keep a stay, and urging the court to lift the stay, is incredibly powerful."
Read AG Browns motion AFTER THE JUMP ...