In an unexpected move, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided to lift the stay on Proposition 8 and allow same-sex marriages to resume immediately.
A few minutes ago the American Foundation for Equal Rights announced that the first couple to marry in San Francisco would be plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier. The Berkeley couple was of two couples that were part of the lawsuit, named after Perry and known as Hollingsworth v. Perry.
The other plaintiffs, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, are to be married in Los Angeles.
Perry and Stier are set to exchange vows in the Rotunda of San Francisco City Hall at 4:15 p.m.
The wedding will take place just two days after the U. S. Supreme Court issued its in the case that restores marriage equality to California.
It had been expected that the marriages would not begin until late July in case Prop 8′s backers asked the nation’s highest court to rehear the case. And on Wednesday a spokesman for the federal appellate court had said it would wait until the 25-day deadline to file such a petition had run its course.
But the court switched course and late this afternoon lifted its stay on a federal district decision that had found Prop 8 to be unconstitutional.
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin, who launched AFER in 2008 in order to bring forward the legal challenge to Prop 8, is currently in San Francisco to attend the city’s annual Pride parade in which Perry and Stier and a number of AFER staffers will march Sunday.
“After four and a half long and painful years, justice for committed gay and lesbian couples has finally been delivered,” stated Griffin. “In California, a time of struggle and indignity are over, and love, justice and freedom begin anew. And now, no election, no judge – no one – can take this basic right away. At long last, marriage has finally returned to the most populous state in the nation.”