Judge Lifts Stay on Prop 8 Reversal, Gays in California Allowed to Marry Once Again (On August 18)

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Photo: Jana Barber / Getty Images

A crowd outside of the San Francisco City Hall broke out into cheers just now after Lambda Legal, one of the gay legal advocacy groups working with the Proposition 8 overturn case in California, tweeted that Judge Vaughn Walker has lifted the stay on his ruling. This means that gay couples are allowed to marry once again in the Golden State. Having first been allowed to wed in June 2008 after a decision by the state Supreme Court, that right was taken away again in November of that year with the passage of Proposition 8, an amendment to the state constitution. Judge Walker's original decision, handed down on August 8, deemed Prop 8 unconstitutional and overturned it — but he held off any same-sex nuptials with a stay until today. With Walker's lift of the stay this afternoon, California is now set to be the sixth state to allow gay men and women to marry. Happily, there just happens to already be a line of couples waiting outside of City Hall in San Francisco waiting to do just that.

Update: Unhappily for those in line, Walker has scheduled the lift for August 18. Opponents have until then to get the 9th Circuit Court to extend the stay. The Times has all the details.