Federal Court Puts Brakes on Calif. Gay Marriages

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The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that, for now, there will be no same-sex marriages in California.

The highly charged case over California's Proposition 8 law that bans on same-sex marriages is being appealed after a federal judge struck it down as unconstitutional. The final say on this issue is likely to come from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, talked more about the apellate court's ruling and why it's important to delay same-sex marriages until all appeals are heard. Click here for his comments Tuesday's CBN Newschannel Morning program.

The emergency stay, issued by a three-judge panel, to halt gay marriages from starting was a victory for supporters of traditional marriage.

"We are thrilled with the 9th Circuit's decision and we really feel it favors the vote of the people," said Dr. La Verne Tolbert of the Protect Marriage Coalition.

Those fighting for gay marriage said the stay was only a small setback.

"My heart goes out to all those coupled and families that were looking forward to come into city hall," San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said. "Now all that's denied."

"This is a long-term decision that will need to be made and this is not an easy decision for the general public," Michael Proctor, who opposed Proposition 8, said.

The voter-approved state amendment defined marriage as between a man and a woman and was aproved by 7 million California voters. The court's stay means same-sex marriages won't begin again in the state on Wednesday as was ruled earlier.

"To see the vote of the people actually upheld even though it's not the final word yet. We still have appeals to go through," said Andrew Pungo, general council for ProtectMarriage.com, in reaction to the recent ruling. "But for the time being the vote of the people has been upheld and we don't always see that."

Opponents argue allowing gay marriages during the appeals process would conflict with state's role in promoting marriages aimed at producing and raising children -- and would also create legal chaos.

The 9th Circuit Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the case in December.

It's likely the court won't make its decision until next year. Even then, most legal experts believe the case ultimately will go to the Supreme Court.

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