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Judge Will Lift Stay, but Gay Couples Can't Marry Immediately [Updated]

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At "Marriage Park" in WeHo, June 2008 | Photo by Tom Andrews/LAist
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[Updated: It appears initial reports from LogoTV and scenes from outside the courthouse were only one part of the story, something that was too early for celebration. As the LA Times explained it, the judge "refused to permanently stay his ruling overturning Proposition 8's ban of gay marriage but extended a temporary hold to give supporters time to appeal the historic ruling."

In his ruling (read it in full below), federal Judge Vaughn Walker said that "other than the proponents, no party seeks to stay the effect of a permanent injunction against Proposition 8. 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."

Sponsors of Prop 8 have until August 18th to make that appeal to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. No gay marriages can take place until at least 5 p.m. that day, but the court could also block them from occurring.

This post originally stated that marriage could resume immediately.]

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Last week, he ruled that Prop 8, which banned gay marriage in California, was unconstitutional. But he also temporarily stayed the order to hear Prop 8 proponents present reasons why gay marriages should not continue as the case works its way through higher courts.

"A stay is essential to averting the harms that would flow from another purported window of same-sex marriage in California," proponents wrote in their filing. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown both argued that, pointing out that there would be no harms to the state if gay marriages were allowed to resume.

In West Hollywood, city officials were preparing to to marry couples who have been waiting all morning for Walker's ruling.