The Los Angeles Times reports:
A federal appeals court decided Monday to put same-sex marriage in California on hold at least until December, interrupting the wedding plans of scores of gay couples who were hoping to exchange vows later this week.
The brief order by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals prevents an early showdown on the marriage question at the U.S. Supreme Court. Challengers of the marriage ban said they would not appeal Monday's order.
The panel said the court would hear the Proposition 8 challenge on an expedited basis and hold arguments the week of Dec. 6. Another panel of three judges is expected to rule on the appeal.
California Faith for Equality issued this statement:
"Once again, 'justice delayed is justice denied', "said Samuel M. Chu, Executive Director of California Faith for Equality. “CFE faith leaders are saddened by today's decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that same-sex couples can not marry in California while the court considers the constitutionality of the state's gay marriage ban. While we are deeply disappointed, we will continue to work hard, making sure religious support is heard at every step of the court's proceedings including filing a fifth amicus brief to the appellate court this fall.
"We are very confident that the appellate court will uphold Justice Walker's decision.The Supreme Court has affirmed in Loving v. Virginia in 1967 that marriage is a basic civil right. Justice Walker, in his own decision on August 4, 2010 said that California has no interest in discriminating against same gender couples, yet today's stay is a stay on justice.
" As faith leaders caring for members of our communities," said Chu, "we know these court proceedings have real-life consequences to and impact on thousands of couples and families and we will continue to advocate for equality for all. Our faith traditions teach that we must respect the dignity of every human being and to reduce loving gay and lesbian couples to a second class status is wrong. It is just a matter of time until our faith leaders will put their faith into action and marry loving, committed couples who echo the strong family values of their religious communities.
In the meantime, CFE will also continue to organize our faith leaders and secular partners to continue to bring our communities together to support all marriages and to value all families. We are and remain committed to 'Let freedom and wedding bells ring!' for as long as it takes "
Samuel M. Chu is available for comment: 310-988-5548
California Faith for Equality is a statewide network of clergy and lay leaders from a diversity of faith traditions who are committed to equality.