Just Like That, Gay Marriage Is Once Again Legal in California

With ten words — "The stay in the above matter is dissolved effective immediately" — the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way for gay marriages to resume in California. The first couple to wed was the pair whose lawsuit led to this week's Supreme Court victory.

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The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has lifted its order putting on hold a state court ruling determining that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. Or, in other words: thanks to the Supreme Court throwing out a challenge to the decision earlier this week, Judge Vaughn Walker's 2010 determination that the law barring gay marriages in the state violated California's constitution is now in force.

"The stay in the above matter is dissolved effective immediately," the Court wrote. With that, and a bit ahead of schedule, gay marriage is once again legal in California.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

A spokesman for the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had originally said it would takes the court at least 25 days to act after a Supreme Court ruling. Immediately afterward, Gov. Jerry Brown ordered his public health agency to advise the state's counties to "begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in California as soon as the 9th Circuit confirms the stay is lifted."

With the order today, which can be read in all of its brevity below, that process is now complete. The AP reports that "the state is required to issue licenses to gay couples starting immediately." The state has now officially ordered county clerks to start issuing licenses — just in time for Pride Weekend.

Appropriately enough, one of the first couples to be married was Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier, the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case, scheduled for 7:45 p.m. Eastern. In May 2009, the two went to the County Clerk in Alameda to get a marriage license. When they were denied, the pair sued. Thanks to that lawsuit, this evening at San Francisco City Hall the two had better luck.

The two were married on the balcony under the City Hall rotunda. The couple's son, Elliott Perry, was the ringbearer. You can watch the ring exchange and kiss, via ABC 7 Bay Area, below.

And here's that first kiss, GIF'd.

The state's attorney general, Kamala Harris did the honors.

There are more to come. The Times notes that "clerks began receiving calls Wednesday from gay couples wanting to schedule appointments." Expect lines out the door Monday morning. Those in San Francisco not interested in waiting can head to City Hall from 9 to 5 Saturday and Sunday, according to KTVU.

As Equality California points out, the ban was lifted on the 44th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, an event that helped launch the gay rights movement.

The Court's order.

Photo: San Francisco City Hall, scene of one of the first marriages today, pictured last night. (AP)

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.