Eager couples await Prop. 8 decision 

Maria Ydil and Vanessa Judicpa didn’t plan to have their marriage license revoked on the day a federal judge declared a ban on their vows unconstitutional. The two had planned to marry Sunday, whether recognized by the state or not.

But when urged by attorney and activist Molly McKay to just give it a shot Wednesday, the two women went with a wave of support into City Hall, only to have their application rejected for the second time in six months.

They were among countless other couples who now hope that U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker lifts a hold on his own judgment, handed down Wednesday, that would allow at least a small window for same-sex couples to get married.

Both sides of the Proposition 8 debate will submit arguments today to either allow marriages to move forward or to delay Walker’s ruling until it goes to appeal, according to the City Attorney’s Office, which has been advising officials. Walker could then make a decision as soon as today, which could lead to a deluge of same-sex marriages at City Hall, although many believe the decision may not come until next week.

“There is no deadline for Judge Walker to rule,” city attorney spokesman Jack Song said.

But that hasn’t stopped some at City Hall from preparing. Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting has put out word for volunteers to help with an influx of marriages should they be allowed.

The Mayor’s Office, however, was more cautious than optimistic that the doors to same-sex marriage will open today.

“We’re waiting for word. We certainly won’t issue marriage licenses before it’s legal,” said Tony Winnicker, the mayor’s spokesman.

Rebecca Rolfe, executive director of the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, said couples are hungry for validation of their relationships.

“I know many people who would be ready to take advantage of that, but I think that most people realize what a protracted legal process this will be,” Rolfe said.

For Ydil, who works at a wedding photography studio, and Judicpa, a phlebotomist, the draw of marriage was almost instantaneous. The two decided to be married only a week into their relationship.

“When you know you’ve met the one, you just know,” Ydil said.



Supporters of ban appeal ruling

Supporters of California’s same-sex marriage ban filed an appeal Thursday of a federal judge’s ruling striking down the voter-approved law.

The appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was expected, as attorneys on both sides of the legal battle repeatedly vowed to carry the fight to a higher court if they lost.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in San Francisco overturned Proposition 8, which restricted marriage to unions between one man and one woman. U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that it violates federal equal protections and process laws.

The 9th Circuit has no deadline to hear the case, which will be randomly assigned to a three-judge panel. The U.S. Court of Appeals set a Nov. 12 deadline for written arguments to be submitted by proponents of the measure, which was passed by voters in November 2008.

The outcome in the appeals court could force the U.S. Supreme Court to confront the question of whether gay men and women have a constitutional right to wed.

The appeal was filed by Protect Marriage, a coalition of religious and conservative groups that sponsored Prop. 8 and wound up defending it after California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown refused to do so.

— Wire report

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