Judge Walker Rules: Same-Sex Marriage Allowed, But Not Yet.

The judge’s decision was expected by noon. Seconds ticked by as the anxious crowd on the steps of the courthouse waited patiently. Couples waited with plans to mark this historic day by exercising their re-established, constitutional right to wed.

San Francisco Mayor, Gavin Newsom, boldly addressed the media with the statement that “Californians had waited long enough.” There’s no reason for those individuals, waiting to exercise their right to marriage, to have to wait a single day longer. Expectations were high that Judge Walker would rule in favor of removing the stay on his previous judgement, clearing the way for the matrimonial ceremonies and celebrations.

At 12:40pm PST, Judge Walkers decision was announced. Equality wins the day… kind of. Judge Walker has ruled to lift the stay on his August 4, 2010, judgement striking down Proposition 8, but not yet. California’s ban on same-sex marriage will not be lifted until August 18, 2010, at 5:00pm PST. Six more days.

Another bitter-sweet moment in a long fight against the forces of bigotry and oppression. Plans for immediate ceremonies have once again had to be shelved. The specter of legal machinations by the opposition have been left to hang over the heads of all concerned.

Charles Cooper and the Proposition 8 legal team now have six days to try to compel a higher court to reinstate the stay on same-sex marriage. The psychological and emotional toll on the persons affected continues to get ratcheted up as their constitutional rights hang in the balance.

In the meantime, a delayed and tenuous victory is all that’s left to hold on to. Marriage plans will have to wait, yet again. Equal rights will be denied, for a little while longer. It’s been a long and difficult struggle. It’s easy to hope for a quick resolution, but none will be forthcoming.

The agents of oppression will continue their efforts to deny the rights of others based on their own religiously based bias. Those for the cause of equal rights, and the right to same-sex marriage, will continue their courageous battle as well. It’s sure to be a long and potentially eventful six days.


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