Prop 8 Lawyers Ask Federal Court to Let Marriages Resume in California

The legal team challenging California's Proposition 8 is asking the Ninth Circuit federal appeals court to lift the stay it put on a lower court decision striking it down as unconstitutional back in August. The request comes after the California Supreme Court said it would hear arguments on the issue of standing in the case (both the state's governor and attorney general are refusing to defend the measure) – but not until September at the earliest.

"It has become apparent that the legal process is taking considerably longer than could reasonably have been anticipated," said Theodore Olson, co-lead counsel for the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), which brought the lawsuit against Prop 8. Gay couples have been denied the freedom to marry in the state since the ballot initiative passed in November 2008.

"It’s unreasonable and decidedly unjust to expect California’s gay and lesbian couples to put their lives on hold and suffer daily discrimination as second class citizens while their U.S. District Court victory is debated further," he added.

AFER has also asked the California Supreme Court to move faster, and move up the hearing to May.

"These delays due to procedural technicalities are extraordinarily harmful and need to be resolved,” said Julian Bond, former chairman of the NAACP. "We’re talking about delaying basic civil rights which is adversely affecting tens of thousands of Californian couples and families in a real way, on a daily basis. It's simply not acceptable to continue state-sanctioned discrimination and second-class citizenship. Equality delayed is equality denied."