Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage has both sides on edge

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage and Proposition 8 is being eagerly awaited this morning by both sides.

The court could resolve the case in a variety of ways.

It could uphold or reject Proposition 8, dismiss the case as improvidently granted, return the case to an appeals court for reconsideration or rule that ProtectMarriage, the sponsors of the marriage ban, did not have legal standing to bring the appeal.

“I’m pretty confident we are going to get a decision from this court that is going to move us forward,” said Susan Russell, a leading gay rights activist and a pastor at All Saints Church in Pasadena.


Still, she added, waiting for the court’s ruling has been nerve-wracking. Until Tuesday, activists had no idea when the decision would come. Many were up every morning, checking their Twitter feeds, newspaper websites and a blog devoted to the Supreme Court, braced for news of the historic ruling.

“Being part of making that history is extraordinary, and it’s exhausting,” Russell said.

“I’ve been waking up at 6:30 in the morning for weeks,” said Whitney Weddell, a high school teacher who chairs an LGBTQ rights group in Kern County. “Every Monday, every Thursday, I’m awake, waiting, waiting, waiting, and then I text everyone in Bakersfield.”

The National Organization for Marriage released a statement late Tuesday saying it believes it will prevail before the court.

But the statement added that “no matter what the Supreme Court does tomorrow, the battle to preserve marriage as God designed it will continue.”

It also asked supporters to “pray … for the success of our position before the Supreme Court, for the attorneys and their families who have sacrificed so much to fight for the truth of marriage, and for those of us who will be in the media firestorm tomorrow reacting to whatever the decision may be.”

In communities up and down the state, activists planned public rallies either to celebrate or decry the court’s ruling. More than 25 had been posted on Facebook by Tuesday, from a large rally in West Hollywood to a smaller celebration in the Central Valley town of Hanford.

Assuming the court allows marriages to begin again in California, San Francisco officials have said they would begin holding weddings as early as possible.

In Los Angeles, the county clerk’s office said it was “prepared to accommodate any potential volume increases” in couples seeking marriage licenses.

At the Abbey Food and Bar, a landmark gay bar in West Hollywood, servers plan to offer wedding cake all day.

Many couples said they were just happy that the long, suspenseful wait for a ruling is finally over.

“It’s kind of like waking up on Christmas morning. You wonder if the presents are going to be there,” said Jeff Aguero, 28, of San Francisco.

For the past couple of weeks, Aguero said he has been checking for updates every morning the second he woke up.

“Not today,” he texted his partner, Sebastian Tonkin, each time.

Now that the decision is finally here, Aguero, who held a wedding ceremony with his partner last June in Lake Tahoe, said he’s nervous but “very, very hopeful” that the court will at least hand down a narrow ruling allowing gays in California to marry.

Just in case, Aguero has already picked out a bakery and begun to search in earnest for a two-groom cake topper.

From the LA Times

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