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Supreme Court Issues Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage

same-sex-marriage-bigThe Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared the way for same-sex marriage to resume in California, turning away an appeal by supporters of Prop 8.

The court also overturned a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to legally-married same-sex couples.

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LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Several questions remained on Thursday in the wake of a decision by the Supreme Court not to hear an appeal from the backers of Proposition 8.

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Same-sex marriages were expected to resume in California in mid-July.

Perhaps the biggest question was when same-sex marriages would be able to resume in California.

Prop 8, which was passed by voters in 2008, banned same-sex married in the state.

In a 5-4 decision, the justices ruled that the private backers of Prop 8 did not have the legal standing to defend the measure after the state declined to do so.

The decision means that the ruling of a federal judge in San Francisco invalidating the ban on same-sex marriage will be reinstated.

An appeals court stay on that decision will be lifted.

It was expected to take about 25 days for the Supreme Court decision to be finalized and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to lift its stay.

That means that same-sex marriages could begin again sometime in mid-July.

California Attorney General Kama Harris said on Wednesday that she would like to see the process move more quickly.

“I am calling on the 9th Circuit to urge them in the strongest terms that they lift the stay and enforce the permanent injunction so marriages can begin in California immediately,” Harris said.

However, opponents of gay marriage have said that they are not giving up their fight.

They could go back to court to argue that the ruling should only apply to the couples who were plaintiffs in the case, and not to couples throughout the state.

Prop 8 supporters protested the Supreme Court decision in San Diego on Wednesday.

They complained that five justices overturned a law that was passed by the majority of California voters.

There was the possibility that specific counties could refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Harris has said she will take those counties to court.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (KTLA) — Two landmark Supreme Court decisions in support of same-sex marriage on Wednesday made for joyous celebrations in West Hollywood.

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A crowd celebrates in West Hollywood on Wednesday.

The Supreme Court struck down a key portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and declined to hear an appeal from the supporters of California’s Proposition 8.

DOMA had defined marriage for federal purposes as between one man and one woman.

It denied same-sex couples who were legally married in their state the federal benefits enjoyed by married heterosexual couples.

Prop 8, passed by voters in California in 2008, banned same-sex marriage.

“This is not an issue of Republican or Democrat, it’s not an issue of conservative or liberal,” said lawyer David Boies, addressing a crowd in West Hollywood.

“It’s an issue of human rights, of civil rights, of constitutional rights,” he said.

Boies was joined by conservative attorney Ted Olson. Together, they presented the Prop 8 case to the Supreme Court.

“I was driving in my car into work and I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is as good as we could have hoped,’” gay marriage proponent John Borsum said.

“It’s hard to believe, it’s hard to accept that after all these years that we’re at this point,” supporter Mark Ehrentstein said. “It’s a celebration… very, very happy.”

But even amid the revelry, gay-marriage supporters said they were aware that there was still work to be done in the 37 states that do not recognize marriage equality.

“I don’t think it’s gonna be that tough,” Boies sad. “I think that the country has changed radically in the last three or four years.”

Local couple Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo were two of the plaintiffs that pushed the Prop 8 case all the way to the Supreme Court. They also spoke in West Hollywood on Wednesday.

“It’s not every day you get a proposal on live TV and a phone call form Air Force One,” Zarrillo said.

He was referring to an on-air marriage proposal he got from partner Katami after the decisions, along with a congratulatory phone call form President Obama.

“You guys should be proud of your very… you know your… for your courage,” the president said. “You’re helping out a whole lot of people everywhere. I hope you enjoy your celebration.”

WASHINGTON (KTLA) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California, turning away an appeal by supporters of Proposition 8.

In a 5-4 decision, the justices ruled that the private backers of Prop 8 did not have the legal standing to defend the measure after the state declined to do so.

The decision means that the ruling of a federal judge in San Francisco invalidating the ban on same-sex marriage will be reinstated. An appeals court stay on that decision will be lifted.

Gov. Jerry Brown directed the California Department of Public Health to advise all California counties to “begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in California as soon as the Ninth Circuit confirms the stay is lifted.”

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion, joined by Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative, and three liberals — Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan.

Justice Anthony Kennedy filed a dissenting opinion, joined by Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor.

Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, who live in Berkeley, Calif., were two of the plaintiffs in the case.

“We can go back to California and say to our own children — all four of our boys — your family is just as good as everybody else’s family,” Perry said.

Paul Katami and Jeff Zarillo, of Burbank, were also plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case.

“Today is a great day,” Katami said. “We enter this building and we always see those words, ‘Equal justice under the law.’ Today, we’re closer to that equality,” he said.

“We know that the fight continues across this country. We cannot forget our LGBT bothers and sisters that are in states that still discriminate against them, and we will not allow it,” Katami said.

There will likely be about a 25-day waiting period, meaning same-sex marriages could resume in California sometime in mid-July.

“We do not foresee any delays or interruption in service for our customers. We are prepared to accommodate any potential volume increases,” said Dean Logan of the Los Angeles County Registrar’s office in a statement.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa hailed the decision, calling it a “momentous step on the path to full equality and dignity for all Californians and all Americans.”

“Today we celebrate a victory for love and fairness, a victory for same-sex couples who only want to follow their hearts and marry the person they love,” Villaraigosa said.

Also on Wednesday, the court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denied federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

WASHINGTON (KTLA) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), ruling that same-sex couples who are legally married may receive federal benefits.

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Plaintiff Edith Windsor reacts to the Supreme Court’s verdict.

By a 5-4 margin, the justices ruled that the law was unconstitutional becasue it denied gay and lesbian couples equal protection of the laws.

DOMA, passed in 1996, defined marriage for federal purposes as between one man and one woman.

It denied same-sex couples the benefits enjoyed by married heterosexuals with regards to taxes, Social Security, pensions, health insurance and more.

President Barack Obama reacted on Twitter, writing, “Today’s DOMA ruling is a historic step forward for .

The 84-year-old widow at the center of the case said she cried when she learned of the decision.

“We won everything we had asked and hoped for… Wow,” Edith Windsor said.

She launched her lawsuit against the government after she was forced to pay $363,000 in estate taxes following her wife’s death.

Windsor said that, if her spouse had been a man, she would not have received the bill from the IRS.

Also on Wednesday, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from the backers of Proposition 8, which banned same-sex unions in California.

The court ruled that they did not have the legal standing to defend the measure after it was struck down by a federal judge in San Francisco.

The decision cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California, likely by the middle of July.

Prop. 8 Supporters Disappointed by Supreme Court Rulings

Supreme Court Dismisses Prop 8 Case; What Happens Next?

WASHINGTON (KTLA) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared the way for same-sex marriage to resume in California, turning away an appeal by supporters of Proposition 8.
Read more: http://ktla.com/2013/06/26/high-court-clears-way-for-same-sex-unions-in-ca/#ixzz2XMMMsIWE

WEST HOLLYWOOD (KTLA) The Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared the way for same-sex marriage to resume in California, turning away an appeal by supporters of Proposition 8.
Read more: http://ktla.com/2013/06/26/high-court-clears-way-for-same-sex-unions-in-ca/#ixzz2XMMMsIWE

LOS ANGELES — The first same-sex couple permitted to be married in Los Angeles County, Robin Tyler and Diane Olson, ate a celebratory piece of white wedding cake and cheered the Supreme Court decision that paved the way for gay marriages in California to resume.

“It’s like being married all over again,” Tyler said, clutching the cake decorated with a figurine of two women on top.

The couple spoke to the media at a news conference Wednesday morning at attorney Gloria Allred’s office.

For Tyler and Olson, the battle for same-sex marriage in California has been many years in the making.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.

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