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Stay Lifted in California Same-Sex Marriage Ban

A federal judge who last week ruled California’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional moved Thursday to suspend gay weddings until Aug. 18 at 5 p.m. The ruling by Judge Vaughn Walker allows opponents of same-sex marriage the time to gain a decision from the 9th Circuit on whether gay marriage should allowed to resume, the Associated Press reports.

California voters banned same-sex marriage through Proposition 8 in November 2008. That came just months after the state Supreme Court had legalized same-sex unions, which resulted in an estimated 18,000 gay couples getting married in the state.

In his ruling Thursday, Walker said that proponents of the ban failed to convince him that anyone would be harmed by allowing same-sex marriages to resume.

“The evidence at trial showed, however, that Proposition 8 harms the state of California,” Walker said.

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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who along with Attorney General Jerry Brown support same-sex marriage, said Judge Walker’s decision to lift the stay “provide all Californians the liberties I believe everyone deserves.”

According to the AP, the case will now go before a special “motions panel” that consists of three judges at the appeals court.

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