Diary

Ninth Circuit Stays "Gay Marriages" for Now; Schwarzenegger Sells Out

Appeals court puts Proposition 8 ruling on hold, sets December hearing

By Howard Mintz [email protected]

Updated: 08/16/2010 04:05:36 PM PDT

A federal appeals court today put off any same-sex marriages in California until at least next year.

In a brief order, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to stay Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker’s order last week that would have barred the state from enforcing Proposition 8, a development that would have enabled same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses across the state immediately. Walker on Aug. 4 declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional, and then found there is no longer legal justification to deny same-sex couples the right to marry while his ruling is reviewed on appeal.

The three-judge 9th Circuit panel did not elaborate on either Walker’s ruling invalidating Proposition 8 or the issue of allowing gay marriages to proceed right away. But the judges asked the ballot measure’s lawyers to offer arguments on why they have the legal right to appeal when the state’s top two officials, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Brown, refuse to defend the law and say it is unconstitutional.

I can’t say I’m surprised with Arnold. He is after all an actor, and Hollywood these days is brimming with contempt for traditional values. (“The Kids Are All Right” sunk them to new lows in my book: whatever its other merits, a story about two romantically involved women who used artificial insemination to have kids should never have been considered for wide release. Audiences seem to agree.) Paris Hilton also exclaimed recently that “There shouldn’t be a law on true love.” Apparently she is not concerned about how “gay marriage” will affect the true love and well-being of heterosexual couples by devaluing traditional gender roles, lessening social protections for women, equalizing marriage with less stable gay relationships, and undermining a child’s right to its biological parents. The image of musicians also wasn’t exactly burnished by Lady Gaga saying killing Proposition 8 inspired her to “write music.”

Arnold is in many ways a likeable governor. But I’d hate for his most lasting legacy to end up being opening the city gates for advancing liberals on this issue.