Harris argues that the hold must be removed because the appeal of last year’s ruling that overturned Proposition 8 is taking more time than expected.

By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times
March 2, 2011

California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris urged a federal appeals court Tuesday to permit same-sex couples to marry during an appeal of last year’s ruling that overturned Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that banned gay marriage.

In arguments filed with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Harris asked the court to lift a hold on a federal court order directing the state to permit gays to marry. U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who served on the bench in San Francisco, ruled in August that the marriage ban violated constitutional rights to due process and equal protection.

Harris sided with two same-sex couples who sued to overturn Proposition 8 in arguing that the hold must be removed now that the appeal is taking more time than expected. The delay was caused by the entrance into the case of the California Supreme Court, which will determine the legal rights of initiative sponsors.

“For 846 days Proposition 8 has denied equality under law to gay and lesbian couples,” Harris told the court. “Each and every one of those days, same-sex couples have been denied their right to convene loved ones and friends to celebrate marriages sanctioned and protected by California law.”

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