California Governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown have urged a federal
judge to allow gay weddings to resume while opponents appeal
Wednesday's ruling that overturned California's gay marriage ban,
Proposition 8, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Allowing gay and lesbian couples to
marry “is consistent with California's long history of treating all
people and their relationships with equal dignity and respect,”
Schwarzenegger said in a filing with Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn
Brown, who had refused to defend the
law and is campaigning for governor, also joined gay rights advocates
in asking Walker to lift the ban.
The law was defended by a coalition of
social conservative groups, including the Christian-based Alliance
Defense Fund (ADF) and Protect Marriage, the sponsor of the measure.
The groups have already appealed the decision to the Ninth U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco and asked the court to put
Walker's order on hold during the appeal process.
Proponents of Prop 8 have argued that
lifting the ban would put gay marriages taking place during the
appeal process “under a cloud of uncertainty.”
Judge Walker is expected to rule on the
issue early next week.
Schwarzenegger issued a statement in
support of the ruling on Wednesday. Walker's ruling “affirms the
full legal protections and safeguards I believe everyone deserves,”
The Republican governor has a spotty
record on the issue of marriage equality. He twice vetoed gay
marriage bills approved by lawmakers, but in 2008 he cheered the
California Supreme Court's decision that legalized gay marriage.
Proposition 8, approved 5 months later, trumped the court's ruling
and put an end to the gay weddings taking place in the state.
Geoff Kors, executive director of
Equality California, the state's largest gay rights group, said
Schwarzenegger's support was “incredibly powerful.”