Same-sex "weddings" in California are on hold indefinitely after a federal appeals court blocked them while it considers the constitutionality of the state's ban on homosexual unions.
The decision, issued Monday by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, trumps Judge Vaughn Walker's order that would have allowed same-gender marriages to begin on Wednesday.
Walker had previously ruled that the ban, known as Proposition 8, violated the constitutional rights of homosexuals, who he said should not face discrimination based on "moral and religious views." The ban's sponsors appealed that ruling and also asked the 9th Circuit to block same-sex weddings in the meantime. They claimed in papers filed with the 9th Circuit that homosexual marriages would harm the state's interest in promoting responsible procreation through heterosexual marriage.
You may recall that weeks ago a district judge ruled that the ban on gay marriage in California, Prop 8, was unconstitutional. That was immediately appealed. In the meantime, the appeals court, the ninth circuit which is the most liberal in the country, has put all gay marriage ceremonies on hold indefinitely while they look at the district judge's ruling.