SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. federal judge who had overturned California's same-sex marriage ban decided on Thursday to lift the stay of the ruling, meaning same-sex marriage may soon resume in the state.
Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker of San Francisco said in an order that the lift of the stay will be effective from Aug. 18.
Walker last week struck down Proposition 8, a California constitutional amendment approved by voters in November 2008 that banned same-sex marriage.
Walker at that time issued a temporary stay that froze the enforcement of the ruling.
Proponents of Proposition 8 had asked for the stay, saying allowing same-sex couples to marry pending the appeal would create confusion if Walker's ruling was eventually overturned.
Lawyers for same-sex couples, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown opposed the stay and had filed legal motions calling for resumption of same-sex marriages.
"None of the factors the court weighs in considering a motion to stay favors granting a stay. Accordingly, proponents' motion for a stay is denied," Walker said in the latest order.
"Because proponents fail to satisfy any of the factors necessary to warrant a stay, the court denies a stay except for a limited time solely in order to permit the court of appeals to consider the issue in an orderly manner," Walker said.
Thursday's order still gives time for Proposition 8 supporters to appeal for another stay. It is a new twist in the high-profile case that many believe will go to the U.S. Supreme Court.
U.S. federal judge overturns California's ban on same-sex marriage
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. federal judge on Wednesday overturns Proposition 8, California's voter-approved initiative that banned same-sex marriage.
Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker of San Francisco found that the ban violated the constitutional rights to equal protection and due process of two gay couples that want to marry.
Walker presided over a nonjury trial in January, the first federal trial in the United States on same-sex couples' right to marry.
The case was brought by two same-sex couples who sued the state of California, after they were denied the right to marry because of Proposition 8, a California constitutional amendment approved by voters in November 2008 that banned same-sex marriage.
The California Supreme Court upheld the ban in May 2009, while ruling that the unions of roughly 18,000 same-sex couples who were wed before Proposition 8 was passed will remain valid.
"Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional," Walker wrote in the ruling.