Calif. attorney general urges appeals court to permit same-sex marriage

Mar 1 2011 - 4:09pm

SAN FRANCISCO -- California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris urged a federal appeals court Tuesday to permit same-sex couples to marry during an appeal of last year's ruling that overturned Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that banned gay marriage.

In arguments filed with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Harris asked the court to lift a hold on a federal court order directing the state to permit gays to marry. U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who served on the bench in San Francisco, ruled that the marriage ban violated constitutional rights to due process and equal protection.

Harris' argument follows a decision by the California Supreme Court to consider a question in the case that could put off a final resolution in the 9th Circuit for more than a year.

"For 846 days, Proposition 8 has denied equality under law to gay and lesbian couples," Harris told the court. "Each and every one of those days, same-sex couples have been denied their right to convene loved ones and friends to celebrate marriages sanctioned and protected by California law."

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