Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker
will rule Thursday on whether to keep a stay in place as a decision
overturning California's gay marriage ban is appealed.
Proposition 8 was narrowly approved by
voters in 2008. It put an end to the gay weddings taking place in
the state after the California Supreme Court legalized gay marriage
only five months earlier.
Walker released his 138-page ruling
last Wednesday after conducting a 13-day trial in a San Francisco
courtroom in January. He found the ban violated the constitutional
rights of gay and lesbian couples who wish to marry in California.
The decision was placed on hold
temporarily and the prohibition remains. Walker heard arguments on
Friday on whether to allow gay marriages to proceed as the case is
In filings with the court, California
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Attorney General Jerry Brown, and
attorneys representing the plaintiffs – two gay couples – urged
Walker to lift the stay.
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 his filing.
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.”
The decision is expected to be
announced between 9AM and 12PM PT.