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Ninth Circuit Says No Gay Marriages On Wednesday

Update: 9:57 a.m.

In an order on Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals put a hold on gay marriages until at least December. U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker's decision, as a result, will not go into full effect on Wednesday.

Gay and lesbians couples across Los Angeles County were hoping to marry on Wednesday, but they will once again have to wait.

In Tuesday's order, the Ninth Circuit set an expedited schedule for an appeal of Walker's ruling. The newest legal battle over gay marriage in California will take place between September 17 and December 6.

The Ninth Circuit also directed proponents of Proposition 8 to "include in their opening brief a discussion of why this appeal should not be dismissed for lack of Article III standing."

Ted Olson and David Boies, the attorneys for the plaintiffs of the Prop. 8 lawsuit, have already argued in a brief that the proponents lack "standing" because they do not represent the state of California.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown have refused to defend Proposition 8 in court.

Attorney Ted Olson said in a press statement yesterday: "We are very gratified that the Ninth Circuit has recognized the importance and pressing nature of this case and the need to resolve it as quickly as possible by issuing this extremely expedited briefing schedule. As Chief Judge Walker found, Proposition 8 harms gay and lesbian citizens each day it remains on the books. We look forward to moving to the next stage of this case."

Andy Pugno, general counsel for ProtectMarriage.com, the defendants in the Prop. 8 case, said in a statement: "California voters spoke clearly on Prop. 8, and we're glad to

see their votes will remain valid while the legal challenges work their way up through the

courts. Invalidating the people's vote based on just one judge's opinion would not have been appropriate, and would have shaken the people's confidence in our elections and the right to vote itself."

Pugno, a Republican, is also running for the state assembly's 5th district in Sacramento. Gay rights activists have made a major effort to support his rival, Democrat Richard Pan, who's pro-gay marriage.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.