The legal team of Ted Olson and David
Boies have filed their final brief asking a federal appeals court in
California to let the weddings of gay and lesbian couples resume
while the court considers the constitutionality of the state's gay
marriage ban, Proposition 8.
Last year, U.S. District Judge Vaughn
Walker ruled the 2008 voter-approved law unconstitutional.
Supporters of the ban, however,
appealed the decision and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals placed
Walker's ruling on hold.
The appeals court heard oral arguments
in the case in December, but then turned to the California Supreme
Court to decide whether the law's sponsors have the legal standing to
defend it in court. The
high court has said it won't hear arguments in the case until
The plaintiffs' lawyers have asked the
appeals court to lift its stay and allow the gay weddings to resume,
arguing that it's highly unlikely that the law's backers will prevail
in their legal challenge.
“Proposition 8 – and the stay that
allows it to remain in force – is causing great damage,” the
lawyers wrote in their brief. “It is not merely deferring wedding
dates, as Proponents suggest. For those near the end of life, it is
denying the right to marry outright.”
“Proposition 8 carries an
unmistakable message – transmitted and enforced by the State and
tolerated by this Court – that gay men and lesbians are members of
a class of persons unworthy of the fundamental right of marriage and
the 'protection of equal laws.'”
It is not known when the appeals court
will issue its ruling on the motion.