San Francisco News

Gay marriages in Calif. on hold, for now

Thursday, August 12, 2010
Billy Bradford of Castro Valley, Calif., waves a pair of flags outside City Hall while same-sex couple line up to see if they can be married in San Francisco, Thursday, August 12, 2010. ABC7 legal analyst Dean Johnson talks about the decision on the Prop 8 stay.

Unless an appeals court intervenes, the federal judge who struck down Prop 8 says same-sex weddings can resume next week. Gay rights supporters in San Francisco and across the country are cheering the decision.

Judge Vaughn Walker says opponents of gay marriage have until Aug. 18 at 5 p.m. to get a ruling from a higher court

The decision came nearly half an hour after the judge was scheduled to release his ruling. At first the crowd that gathered on the steps of City Hall and inside the county clerk's office was convinced it had been worth the wait, then came the news that while the stay on same-sex marriages has been lifted, weddings cannot resume until next Wednesday evening at the earliest to permit the court of appeals to consider the case.

Kristin Orbin and Teresa Rowe got to City Hall at 4:30 Thursday morning from Suisun City hoping to tie the knot.

"We've waited five years, we'll wait six more days," Rowe said. "I hope we don't have to wait longer, but if we have to wait longer our love's not going anywhere, it's not going to change."

Orbin and Rowe settled for a blessing by a Lutheran minister and a Buddhist monk.

Mayor Gavin Newsom urged couples to celebrate and recognize that Thursday's ruling is what he calls a significant step.

"There are fits and starts to this narrative just like for racial equality and interracial marriage that had about a 20-year arc," Newsom said.

The city had geared up to perform up to 150 weddings a day. That will not happen right away and supporters of Prop 8 are taking some comfort in that. They came to City Hall to protest same-sex marriages and the judge who has declared them legal.

"I'm glad that the judge at least allowed a minimal amount of time for appeal," Prop 8 supporter Richard Otterstad said.

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same sex marriage, san francisco city hall, castro, san francisco news, carolyn tyler
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