Schwarzenegger calls for same-sex weddings

Arnold said that allowing gay marriages in California is the right thing to do.

San Francisco: Legal calls to immediately resume gay marriages in California began when Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown filed motions telling a federal judge it was the right thing to do.

The motions came two days after US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker struck down California`s voter-approved gay marriage ban as unconstitutional.

In his 136-page decision, Walker said gay marriages should begin immediately. But later Wednesday, he agreed to suspend weddings until he could consider legal arguments he ordered to be filed by yesterday.

Opponents of same-sex marriage said they want Proposition 8 to stay in effect until their appeal of Walker`s ruling is decided by higher courts.

They argued in court papers filed earlier this week that resuming gay marriage now would cause legal chaos if the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals or US Supreme Court eventually reverse Walker.

The 9th Circuit received the case on Wednesday, hours after Walker issued his decision.

Yesterday, Schwarzenegger and Brown were the first to weigh in on the issue and both urged an immediate resumption of gay marriage.

Lawyers for two same-sex couples who filed the lawsuit that led to the landmark ruling were expected to file their arguments late yesterday.

It was unclear when the judge would issue a ruling on the possible resumption of same-sex marriages.

The governor and attorney general almost always defend state laws when they are challenged. But in this case, both refused to participate in fighting the lawsuit that led Walker to overturn the ban.

Brown is the Democratic nominee for governor on the November ballot and he previously called the ban unconstitutional.

Schwarzenegger has been more circumspect on his Proposition 8 position and his motion to immediately resume gay marriage was his boldest pronouncement on the issue.

"The administration believes the public interest is best served by permitting the court`s judgement to go into effect, thereby restoring the right of same-sex couples to marry in California," lawyers for Schwarzenegger said in the legal filing. "Doing so is consistent with California`s long history of treating all people and their relationships with equal dignity and respect."

Bureau Report

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