American Foundation for Equal Rights

Court Decides to Uphold Temporary Stay Prohibiting Marriage for Gay and Lesbian Couples

For Immediate Release
March 23, 2011

Press Contacts
Amanda Crumley: 213-785-5368
Brandon Hersh: 202-412-9766

San Francisco – The following statement from AFER Board President Chad Griffin is in response to today’s decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to uphold an order preventing gay and lesbian couples from marrying in California. That original order, issued in August 2010, stayed the injunction issued by the US District Court that barred further enforcement of Proposition 8.

The US District Court declared Proposition 8—which eliminated marriage rights for same-sex couples—unconstitutional and “gravely harmful” and ordered the State to cease all enforcement of it.

“Several weeks ago, we filed a motion with the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit asking the Court to lift its stay and allow California’s gay and lesbian couples to marry. We felt then, as we do now, that it is decidedly unjust and unreasonable to expect California’s gay and lesbian couples to put their lives on hold and suffer daily discrimination as second-class citizens while their US District Court victory comes to its final conclusion.

“It is un-American to deprive gay and lesbian couples of their fundamental constitutional right to marry. These are adults in committed, loving relationships who just want to live their lives without government interference.

“Last August, the US District Court declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional. We believe that the courts will permanently secure the freedom to marry for all Californians.

“AFER is committed to ensuring that all Americans have the freedom to marry.”