Prop 8 Overturned -- So When Can Gays Marry?

gay rights human rightsLet's just call the news that Prop 8 has been declared unconstitutional by the US 9th Circuit Court what it is: fabulous news! We have won another battle in the epic war of equality! And now for the bad news. You won't see gays and lesbians hand in hand in front of the justice of the peace getting married tomorrow.

Sadly, justice just doesn't move that quickly. Weddings for same sex couples are technically still illegal in California, where the court's decision carries with it a "stay" that essentially allows Prop 8 to remain in effect until the people who are trying to deny gays and lesbians the right to marry have exhausted all their options. So how long will it take?

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Well, that depends.

Right now, the supporters of Prop 8, the people who engineered the disgusting law back in 2008, are expected to ask the 9th Circuit to make sure the stay remains in place. If they're denied, they will more than likely take it straight on to the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court of the United States.

That in and of itself could take months, as the justices don't have to listen to an appeal. They can debate whether or not to even take on the case for quite some time, and then, of course, they would have to actually hear both sides. Then you have to factor in the Supreme Court's schedule. The justices may decide this is one of the 1 percent of cases sent their way that they'll actually put on the docket, but the high court is not in session for July, August, and September. Now factor in the filing of briefs, the oral arguments, the justices' filing opinions ... and this could go on. And on. And on.

In other words, folks, we have won a battle here. A MAJOR battle. But sadly, it is just a battle. The war for human rights goes on, and we have to keep fighting it on all fronts.

One good way to help? Throw your support behind the gay rights group championing Love, Honor, Cherish, a move to amend Prop 8 so it would read:

Marriage is between only two persons and shall not be restricted on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.

If they get enough signatures, this amendment would go on the ballot this November, and it wouldn't matter what the Supreme Court says. It would finally restore the rights of gays and lesbians to marry in California.

How are you handling today's ruling?

 

Image via ep_jhu/Flickr

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