Come on, guys — this is how rumors get started!

A Huffington Post article from August 2010 (and updated in May 2011) was littered all over Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and the rest of the Internet this morning. “Prop 8 OVERTURNED: Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down In California,” reads the headline. Nope. Hard to say who was the instigating drunkard to first stumble across the piece and blast its (very dated) information to his/her entire social network, but since then, the piece has racked up thousands more shares. It currently holds HuffPost's No. 1 slot in “Hot on Facebook.”

That's not to say that appeals-court proceedings aren't looking hopeful right now:

The Los Angeles Times reported this morning that “a federal appeals court appeared unlikely Thursday to throw out a ruling against Proposition 8, the 2008 California measure that banned gay marriage, on the grounds the judge was in an undisclosed, long term same-sex relationship.”

The three judges handling the appeal are expected to issue a ruling in the next few weeks.

So maybe this false alarm comes at an entirely perfect — and, for conspiracy theorists, perhaps non-accidental? — time for the trial. Thinking of everybody's hopes being dashed all over again, when they find out they've been propagating old news, is super painful, even from a laptop screen.

Gay-rights activists are on the home stretch: They've been pushing extra hard in recent days for a final ruling to be made. Now that last year's sentimental atmosphere of temporary victory is back in the air, Prop. 8 opponents are pointing out the absurdity of these delays. After all, some same-sex partners can't wait forever. Which brings us to the heartbreaking story of Palm Springs lovebirds Ed and Derence:

Ed Watson of Palm Springs died Wednesday at the age of 78. Alzheimer's caught up with him. All Ed wanted to do was marry his partner of over 40 years, Derence Kernek, before he passed or lost the ability to even remember who Derence was on their wedding day. …

Now that the courts have finally heard all their appeals, no more excuses: we need a ruling now before the human costs of these delays mount. Sign now to respectfully urge Judges Reinhardt, Hawkins and Smith: issue a ruling NOW!

The triumphant HuffPost piece puts a quote from now-retired Judge Vaughn R. Walker, the same one whose sexual orientation has been under attack ever since his ruling, back on everyone's lips.

Fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”

Word. For more rumor-mill corrections: “Prop 8: What's Really Going On” and “No, Twitter And Facebook, Prop 8 Was Not Overturned Yesterday.” Turns out an NBC station in Ohio even picked up on the HuffPost thing! So depressing.

And for more nostalgia, because that's way more fun: “Prop. 8 Ruling: Thousands Rally In West Hollywood, Long Beach.”

[@simone_electra / / @LAWeeklyNews]

LA Weekly