California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was a named defendant in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the case challenging the constitutionality of the controversial Proposition 8, but the governor himself has become a vocal supporter of Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision last Wednesday overturning the marriage inequality initiative.
In his initial statement following the ruling, Schwarzenegger called the ruling a “milestone on America’s road to equality and freedom for all people.”
Now he’s become a vocal supporter for lifting Walker’s temporary stay on same-sex wedding ceremonies while same-sex marriage opponents prepare to take their appeal to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Most obeservers following the Prop 8 saga believe the case will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court of the United States.
At question now is whether the state will allow new same-sex marriages to resume in the meantime (the state issues 18,000 marriage licenses to same-sex couples prior to passage of Prop 8). For what it’s worth, Schwarzenegger says yes.
On Friday, according to a report at SacBee.com, the governor filed a brief in time for Walker’s deadline asking Walker to lift the stay.
The Republican governor joined gay plaintiffs in asking U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker to lift a stay of his decision against Proposition 8.
“The Administration believes the public interest is best served by permitting the Court’s judgment to go into effect, thereby restoring the right of same-sex couples to marry in California,” wrote Kenneth C. Mennemeier, an attorney representing Schwarzenegger, in the brief.
“Doing so is consistent with California’s long history of treating all people and their relationships with equal dignity and respect,” the brief says.
Attorney General Jerry Brown, Democratic Party candidate for governor, also filed a brief urging Walker to lift his temporary stay on his own ruling, which orders officials to stop enforcing Proposition 8.
For ongoing coverage of Prop 8, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, and related stories, don’t miss Sarah Estrella’s other reporting on Marriage Equality and other LGBT issues! For the latest Sex & Relationships headlines, please subscribe to this column (above) and follow @Sexaminer on Twitter.