Couples are optimistic, but acknowledge fight is not over 

Jeff Zarrillo kept glancing over his shoulder at his partner during the press conference before speaking with a noticable crack in his voice about the ruling about same-sex marriage.

Zarrillo and his partner, Paul Katami, along with Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, a lesbian couple from Berkeley, are the public faces of hundreds of thousands of non-heterosexual couples whose legal status is determined not by their committment, but by the courts.

While the two couples, who filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, cheered the court win, they were also cautious, knowing that the Wednesday ruling could be appealed and head to higher courts.

“We understand that this decision is just the beginning and we’re on the way to the Supreme Court,” Zarrillo said. “But now we know we have the law on our side.”

Speaking before a throng of reporters and advocates Wednesday, Perry and Stier and Katami and Zarrillo, a gay couple from Burbank, were all smiles while reflecting on the ruling by Judge Vaughn Walker.

“I’ll never forget this day and I’ll never forget this experience,” said Stier, an information technology director who has been with Perry for 10 years. “Today’s decision points toward the final piece we’ve been waiting for with as much patience as possible.”


What’s next

Ahead for same-sex marriages:

Despite the favorable ruling, same-sex marriage will not be allowed to resume immediately

  • The judge issued a stay, which blocks marriages from taking place
  • The judge said he wants to decide whether his ruling that overturns the same-sex marriage bans should be suspended while the proponents pursue an appeal
  • He ordered both sides to submit written arguments by Friday on the issue of the stay

Ahead for the Proposition 8 fight:

  • If appealed, it would go to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • If there is an appeal of the 9th Circuit ruling, it would go to the U.S. Supreme Court
  • The high-court justices would have to decide whether to review the appeal or let the 9th Circuit ruling stand

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Will Reisman

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