Proposition 8 opponents claimed victory Wednesday after the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California after years of legal battles.
Gay marriage supporters embraced one another and broke out in cheer at a celebratory press conference at West Hollywood City Hall moments after the high court’s ruling was announced.
“All of us have always been equal and now we’ll be treated that way,” said John D’Amico, the city’s mayor pro tem.
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The Court decided in a 5-4 ruling that Prop. 8 backers lacked standing under federal law to appeal a lower court ruling that deemed Prop 8. unconstitutional.
“Today is a great day in our country,” said California Attorney General Kamala Harris. “I applaud the Supreme Court for its decision.”
Harris urged the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to lift its stay “as quickly as possible” to allow same-sex marriages to resume.
Gov. Jerry Brown issued a statement saying he has directed the California Department of Public Health to advise the state’s counties that they must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as soon as the stay is lifted.
“When we had the opportunity to marry people before Prop. 8, it was one of the most joyous times as an elected official,” said West Hollywood Mayor Abbe Land.
The Los Angeles County Registrar said it was prepared for potential volume increases in marriage licenses.
“Love, whether it is gay or straight, deserves equal protection under the law,” said Stonewall Democratic Club Vice-President Heidi Shink, who has been married to her wife for 18 years.