(CNN) — The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that same-sex marriages can resume in California, a move that the Supreme Court paved the way for on Wednesday.
Three judges on the appeals court made it possible for local governments to issue marriage certificates for gay and lesbian couples with a few words: “The stay in the above matter is dissolved effective immediately.”
Very soon after, California Attorney General Kamala Harris was already at San Francisco’s city hall marrying couples, according to her office.
“I am thrilled that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted its stay to allow same-sex couples to legally marry in California,” Harris said in a statement. “Gay and lesbian couples have waited so long for this day and for their fundamental right to marry. Finally, their loving relationships are as legitimate and legal as any other.”
California’s Supreme Court struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage in May 2008, ruling that the state’s constitution gives “this basic civil right to (marry to) all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples.”
But months later, 52% of voters backed Proposition 8 to once again restrict marriages so that they can only be between a man and a woman.
The measure put gay and lesbian marriages on hold in the state, but a federal appeals court later rule Proposition 8 was unconstitutional.
In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed an appeal of that federal court ruling on jurisdictional grounds. That meant that Friday’s news — and the resumption of same-sex marriages in the Golden State — was expected, even if the timing wasn’t fully known.
By CNN Staff
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