American Foundation for Equal Rights

The Los Angeles Times Urges the Ninth Circuit to Allow Marriage for Gay and Lesbian Couples in California to Resume

For Immediate Release

Press Contact:

Amanda Crumley     213-785-5352
Brandon Hersh                      202-412-9766

Editorial Board says couples are being denied their constitutional rights and harm is being caused to them with no valid reason

Los Angeles Today the Los Angeles Times editorial board called for the Ninth Circuit to immediately lift the stay on the injunction of Prop. 8 that prevents marriage for gay and lesbian couples in California even though the law has been found unconstitutional by U.S. District Court.

In a strongly worded editorial, entitled “Same-sex weddings, now,” the Los Angeles Times says“Enough already.  Gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to wed while the case works it way through the system…” They continue, “Right now, same-sex couples are being deprived of their constitutional right to marry… That is real harm, and there is no valid reason to allow it to continue.”

Last week AFER and its legal team – led by Theodore B. Olson and David Boies – filed a motion last week with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit asking that the Court immediately lift an order preventing gay and lesbian couples from marrying in California.  That order, issued in August 2010, stayed the injunction issued by the U.S. District Court that barred further enforcement of Proposition 8.

The Los Angeles Times editorial board agrees that the U.S. District Court finding that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, and that each and every day it is on the books, it causes grave harm to gay and lesbian couples and their families:

“Now, however, the lawyers challenging Proposition 8 have asked the 9th Circuit to lift the stay and allow the weddings to take place.  We agree that it should.

“Every day that the case drags on, gay and lesbian couples who would like to marry are being deprived of their civil rights.  That’s not our wording; the federal trial judge decided on that issue, at lease for now.  The denial of constitutional rights, even temporarily, is a deplorable situation that must meet high legal standards to be allowed to continue.  In our view, those conditions have not been met…”

The full editorial can be found here:,0,3261946.story

In addition to asking the Ninth Circuit to lift the stay, AFER’s attorneys also urged the California Supreme Court to hear arguments on a question relating to the standing of proponents of Prop. 8 to maintain an appeal in May, rather than September.  AFER’s most recent filings can be found here:

Motion to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to Vacate Stay

Petition to Accelerate Proceedings Before the California Supreme Court


In August 2010, the U.S. 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.  The Ninth Circuit, however, has stayed that injunction for the duration of the appeal before that Court, depriving tens of thousands of gay and lesbian Californians of their fundamental constitutional right to marry.

Last month, the Ninth Circuit asked the California Supreme Court to resolve procedural questions relating to Proponents’ standing to maintain their appeal. Last week, the California Supreme Court said it would not hear arguments before September, meaning that the procedural question might not be resolved until December 2011.

Gay and lesbian couples have been denied the right to marry since Prop 8 passed in November 2008.