Judge upholds Prop. 8; order fast track over federal lawsuit


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — A district court judge has rejected a request by same-sex marriage supporters to nullify Proposition 8 while a challenge to the amendment wends its way through the federal court system.

U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker, in siding with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown, said July 2 that allowing same-sex marriages in the interim through an injunction would only add confusion over the issue.

At the same time, Walker moved to fast track the court case, which many expect will reach the U.S. Supreme Court. Attorneys for both sides will have to submit briefs by Aug. 7. A hearing on the issue is scheduled for Aug. 19.

The federal case, filed by former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson and veteran trial lawyer David Boies on behalf of two same-sex couples, alleges the new constitutional amendment banning gay marriage violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. In May, the state Supreme Court upheld the voters right to amend the constitution to declare marriage as only between one man and one woman.

"Today's ruling maintains the time-honored meaning of marriage," Andy Pugno, general counsel, of the Protect Marriage coalition, said in a statement. "Any argument that the longstanding meaning of marriage that has served humanity for many millenniums somehow violates basic Constitutional rights is preposterous, and we are confident that this early victory in the latest challenge foretells an ultimate victory for marriage in the courts, even if we must go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court."

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