A federal judge has ruled that gay marriages in California should remain on hold until at least Aug. 18.
Judge Vaughn Walker set the deadline to give gay marriage opponents time to appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. If the appeals court fails to act by 5 p.m. local time on Aug. 18, then gay marriages can go forward.
Watch News Channel 3 at 5, 6 and 11 p.m. for reaction to today’s decision here in the desert and around the state of California
Dozens of gay couples gathered outside City Hall in San Francisco on Thursday awaiting the judge’s ruling.
When the judge issued his ruling last week, supporters of Prop 8 quoted scripture, and said same-sex marriage is against the word of God.
“Romans Chapter I, Paul the apostle says that it is an abomination for two people of the same-sex to lay together,” said Kim, a Proposition 8 suppoter who declined to give her last name.
“It is in the category of sexual immorality and the sexually immoral should no inherit the Kingdom of God,” said Greg, a Proposition 8 supporter who declined to give her last name.
Lunsford said, “There is some issue with the word marriage, and it’s semantics — that’s all it is.”
A passionate following that hoped the will of the people would not be overturned said Judge Walker should have recused himself from presiding over the trial.
That’s because he is himself openly gay, but according to Lunsford, that played no part in the ruling.
“Based on the decision I saw,” he explained. “I thought the decision was sound. I didn’t see that there was bias in the decision.”
Millions of gay rights supporters across the states hailed Judge Walker’s decision last Wednesday, overruling a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.
“I think that its absolutely imperative that people have the same rights in this country,” said Paul, a Prop 8 supporter who declined to give his last name.
Hundreds held a rally in Palm Springs that historic night, and that same support was evident on the streets Wednesday evening.
“Had the courts not ruled in favor of equality for blacks,” said Paul. “I think we would still have segregation in this country.”
Still, both sides of the heated debate are holding their collective breath, because Judge Walker’s ruling, scheduled to be announced Thursday at noon, can go either way.
“I think that is totally wrong of him to overturn something that the people have already voted on,” said Kim.
“I know that there are a lot of people across the nation that are interested in this and they’re waiting on the California decision,” said Lunsford.