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California judge: Gay marriages can resume on Aug. 18

BY SUSAN FERRISS, The Sacramento Bee

U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker Thursday declined to continue a stay on his finding that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, paving the way for same-sex marriages to resume after Aug. 18 unless the measure's defenders quickly obtain a stay from a higher court.

Attorneys defending Proposition 8 have said they would seek an immediate stay from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal. If that fails, they have said they will go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to obtain a permanent stay pending appeal.

Private attorneys defending Proposition 8, which amended the state constitution to ban gay marriage, filed an appeal last Thursday with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal.

They are challenging Walker's finding the day before that Proposition 8 violates gays' federal constitutional right to equal protection and due process.

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