Judge Walker has opened the door for same-sex marriage, but with a bit of a twist. The stay will remain in effect until August 18th to give the proponents of Prop 8 an opportunity to appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
That's not surprising, but what does surprise me is the lengthy discussion of whether those same Prop 8 proponents even have standing to file such an appeal.
Because Prop 8 was an amendment to the state Constitution, the Attorney General and Governor are the parties with standing to appeal Judge Walker's ruling. However, Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger both declined to do so. At the trial, the original proponents were allowed to present their case instead of Brown and Schwarzenegger, but after the judge ruled, responsibility for appeal bounced back to the state.
Brown and Schwarzenegger argued that the stay should be lifted and marriages allowed immediately. What Judge Walker has done with this short extension of the stay is to allow the Prop 8 proponents to argue: a) that they have standing to appeal; and b) that the stay should be made permanent.
Judge Walker seems to think they don't have standing. Key conclusion:
Because proponents make no argument that they -- as opposed to the state defendants or plaintiffs -- will be irreparably injured absent a stay, proponents have not given the court any basis to exercise its discretion to grant a stay.
Bottom line: This is moving toward the Supreme Court. The real question is what will happen in the interim.
Update #2: According to Right Wing Watch, the American Family Association is considering the possibility of dropping any challenge to Prop 8 in order to save bans on same-sex marriage in other states.