California moves fast to allow same-sex marriages to resume

The ever-reliable SCOTUSblog reports:

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court on Friday afternoon lifted a year-old order blocking same-sex marriages in California, apparently clearing the way for county clerks across the state to start issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. The one-sentence order immediately nullified a stay order issued last June by the Circuit Court in the “Proposition 8″ case — Hollingsworth v. Perry.

Almost immediately state officials issued statements that same-sex marriage ‘”is now legal in California and that marriage licenses must be issued to same-sex couples immediately.”

There is no going back. Californian becomes the 13th state to legalize same-sex marriage and since this is the most populous state, it add a huge demographic weight to the movement for equality.


  1. machintelligence says

    Colorado looks like it will have a vote to repeal its marriage definition amendment (43) soon. We shall see if it is initiated by the legislature or by citizen petition. (The state just approved civil unions this year.)

  2. slc1 says

    Actually, the first same sex marriages took place last night. The San Francisco area plaintiffs were married in a ceremony officiated by the California State Attorney General, the Los Angeles area plaintiffs were married in a ceremony officiated by the outgoing mayor of Los Angeles. Naturally, the Prop. 8 proponents are screaming bloody murder and are stamping their feet saying they’re mad as hell and they’re not going to take it any more.

  3. says

    @slc1 #2 – More specifically, the first couple married in California after the stay was lifted — the ink on the order wasn’t even dry yet — was Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier, two of the plaintiffs in the case, who were married in San Francisco by California’s Attorney General, Kamala Harris.

    About half an hour later, the other two plaintiffs, Paul Katami and Jeffrey Zarrillo, were married in Los Angeles by the mayor of LA, Antonio Villaraigosa. Rachel Maddow was able to get a crew there in time to broadcast it live. Before clicking watching the video, I recommend you have a box of tissues handy.

  4. Frank says

    There is no going back, but I’m afraid that there might be a time when the majority of states allow same-sex marriage, but we hit a wall with maybe a dozen or so states like Utah and Tennessee holding out for “traditional marriage.” The equality movement might still need the Supreme Court to legalize it nationwide.

    A few years ago, I would have thought that such a ruling might be as divisive as Roe v Wade, and actually set the cause back by prolonging the debate, but public opinion is moving so quickly that I no longer have this worry. It will be interesting to see if Ohio will be able to join the club of modern states on its own, or if it will have to be forced into modernity by the Supreme Court.

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