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WASHINGTON -- Gay and lesbian couples in California who have been waiting four long years to get married can start making wedding plans again after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that supporters of Proposition 8 did not have legal standing to defend the case.

The high court decision applies only to California and does not affect other states where same-gender marriages are banned. Click HERE to read the full opinion, authored by Chief Justice Roberts and joined by Justices Scalia, Ginsburg, Breyer and Kagan. Justice Kennedy, the California native who is often the swing vote, dissented along with Justices Thomas, Alito and Sotomayor.

Minutes early, the high court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is dead.

The latest ruling means the lower court ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional will stand. Maybe. Those wedding plans could come to a crashing halt if the losing side appeals the decision within 30 days or any County Clerks across California refuse to comply. The Imperial County Clerk tried to intervene in the Prop 8 case previously, but was ruled not to have standing.

Meanwhile, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals must lift its stay on the lower court's injunction, so there will be a time delay before marriages can resume in California. Later in the morning, the Ninth Circuit said it received the Supreme Court ruling and would not respond, according to rules, for at least 25 days.

Gov. Jerry Brown today directed the California Department of Public Health to start issuing same-gender marriage licenses as soon at the Ninth Circuit lifts its stay in the Prop 8 case, and said in a statement that he and Attorney General Kamala Harris have determined that all county clerks and county registrars must comply with today's ruling.

Also, the California Department of Public Health sent a letter to the counties noting that it could take a month before marriages could resume, once the stay is lifted.

The high court's "legal standing" argument is also a slap in the face to the California Supreme Court, which was asked by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal to rule if the proponents had legal standing to appeal since the State of California refused to do so. The high court has a different, more rigid standard that the California Supreme Court. To knock the legs out of the "legal standing" argument, the high court said the proponents could not prove any personal injury or harm caused by marriage equality. "Because we find that petitioners do not have standing, we have no authority to decide this case on the merits, and neither did the Ninth Circuit," Roberts wrote. "... We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state stature when state officials have chosen not to. We decline to do so for the first time here. Because petitions have not satisfied their burden to demonstrate standing to appeal the judgment of the District Court, the Ninth Circuit is without jurisdiction to consider the appeal. The judgment of the Ninth Circuit is vacated, and the case is remanded with instructions to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction."

The historic ruling by District Judge Vaughn Walker on Aug. 4, 2010 that Prop 8 is unconstitutional was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Feb. 7, 2012. The key issue, which the Supreme Court decided against weighing into, was whether the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteen Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits the State of California from defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

It should be only a matter of weeks before the State of California will begin resuming same-sex marriages, which should get the green light from the various courts in a matter of hours or a few days. But beware of an appeal within 30 days that could halt the process.

The nation’s most populous state, which was the first to marry gay and lesbian couples in 2004 when then San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom allowed same-sex marriages until the courts ordered a stay, could be joining Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Washington state in allowing same-sex couples to wed. The District of Columbia has also legalized marriage for gay and lesbian couples.

Should anti-gay forces file an appeal to stop the SCOTUS ruling, there is a Plan B in place to put another referendum on the ballot to repeal Prop 8. Target date would be the November 2014 elections in which California will be electing a governor and facing competitive congressional races.

In 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that gay and lesbian couples had the right to marry based on equal protection under the law. From June 16, 2008 until Nov. 5, 2008, when Prop 8 was approved by a thin majority of Californians, more than 16,000 gay and lesbian couples in the Golden State were married.

Day of decision events scheduled nationwide

NOTE: A big shout-out to Marriage Equality USA for the following list of events. All of these events will take place today.

San Diego supporters of marriage equality will rally starting at 5 pm at the Hillcrest Pride Flag, located on Normal Street at University Avenue near Harvey Milk Street that leads to The Center. Here, a rally will take place, which will include speakers and a march.

At 7 pm, community members will move over to The Center, located at 3909 Centre St. The tone and mood of the rally and community gathering will be determined by how the Supreme Court decides.

"Either way - join us as history happens," posted Dr. Delores Jacobs, CEO of The Center.

"Day of Decision" activities in San Diego are being organized by:

SAME Alliance
South Bay Alliance
The San Diego LGBT Community Center
ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties
Activist San Diego
All Out At City
Alliance San Diego
Canvass for a Cause
Democrats for Equality
Greater San Diego Business Association
Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego
San Diego LGBT Pride
San Diego Remembers
The Peace Resource Center of San Diego
PFLAG San Diego
San Diego Party for Socialism & Liberation (PSL)

More information is HERE and HERE.

In North San Diego County, community members are encouraged to gather in front of the North County LGBTQ Resource Center located at 510 N. Coast Highway in Oceanside at 6 pm for a rally.

"Please come in force, this is an historic time and event where the visibility of our families and allies is essential," posted Max Disposti, executive director of the North County LGBTQ Resource Center.

More information about the North County event is HERE.

Also in Southern California, the Palm Springs community will rally at 6 pm at the Forever Marilyn statue at the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Way. More details HERE.

In Los Angeles, community members will gather at the intersection of San Vicente and Santa Monica Boulevard at 5:30 pm for a rally. Participants are encouraged to wear red, white and blue to show their patriotism. More details HERE.

In Washington, D.C., supporters will rally at 5:30 pm at Freedom Plaza. More details HERE. There will also be a prayer service at 7 pm at the Washington National Cathedral.

San Diego Gay & Lesbian News will provide thorough coverage on the rulings today, and will have a reporter on site at the San Diego "Day of Decision" events.

Day of decision events scheduled nationwide

NOTE: A big shout-out to Marriage Equality USA for the following list of events. All of these events will take place today.



Time: 5:00pm PDT
Outback Corner on Stockdale Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93309
Facebook Event
Whitney Weddell (661) 204-3180 chair@bakersfieldpride.org
Wear your pink “Gay is Good” t-shirt

Concord (Contra Costa County)

Time: 6:30pm PDT
Where: Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County, 2118 Willow Pass RD, Suite 500, Concord, CA 94520
Facebook Event
Contact: Leslie Stewart ca-contracosta@marriageequality.org
Info: Meet for bubbles and bubbly - a celebration!


Time: 5:30pm PDT
Plaza of Fresno City Hall, 2600 Fresno St., Fresno, CA 93721
Facebook Event
Contact: Jason Scott (559) 862-4559 & Jaymi Morgan (559) 803-1515 ca-fresno@marriageequality.org

Humboldt County

Time: 6:00pm
In front of the Humboldt Courthouse, 825 5th St., Eureka, CA 95501
In the Arcata Plaza bounded by 8th and 9th Streets and 707-601-6042 MAP
Contact: Susan McGee 707-601-6042 SusanGSMcGee@aol.com
Info: Jpeg hand-out to download, print and share

Long Beach

Time: 7:00pm PDT
The Grand, Long Beach Event Center, 4101 East Willow Ave., Long Beach, CA 90815
Ron Sylvester Rylvester@centerlb.org 562-760-8111

Los Angeles

Time: 5:30pm PDT
West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA
Facebook Event
Jane Wishon ca-losangeles@marriageequality.org

Mountain View

Time: 6:00pm PDT
Mountain View CalTrain Station, 600 W. Evelyn Ave., Mountain View, CA 94041 (Then march to Mountain View City Hall for rally, 500 Castro St Mountain View, CA 94041)
Facebook Event
Lisa Liu (408) 741-4821 & Ray Hixson (650) 346-7557 ca-santaclara@marriageequality.org


Time: 5:30pm PDT
At the park across the street from the Porterville City Hall at 291 North Main Street, Porterville, CA 93257
Facebook Event
Contact: Melissa McMurrey (559) 791-8699 ca-tulare@marriageequality.org

Redwood City

Time: 5:00pm PDT
Outside the San Mateo County Clerk's Office, 555 County Center, Redwood City, CA 94063
Steve Epstein (650) 777-7899 Steve@epsteincentral.com


Time: 6:00pm PDT
West Steps of the Capitol, on 10th St. between L St. and N St., Sacramento, CA 95814 MAP
Facebook Event
Julie Tindall (916) 221-8094 ca-sacramento@marriageequality.org, Shelly Bailes and Ellen Pontac (530) 400-9898 ca-yolo@marriageequality.org
Info: Rally at the Capitol with a dynamic speaker lineup followed by a march to Midtown for a giant party!

San Francisco

Time: 6:30pm PDT
Where: In the Castro, corner of Castro and Market Streets, San Francisco, CA 94114
Facebook Event
Alan Eckert 510-334-7868 DayOfDecisionSF@gmail.com
Info: Please do not park along Castro Street between Market and 19th on the afternoon of the event. Since we won't have 24 hour notice of the event, the SFPD can't post “No Parking” signs. If folks are parked along Castro when the SFPD shuts it down at 5:30pm, they won't be able to get out.


New York City

Time: 5:30pm EDT
Stonewall Inn, 53 Christopher St., New York City, NY 10014
Facebook Event
Brian Silva (347) 913-6369 bsilva@marriageequality.org

Rochester, NY

Time: 5:00pm EDT
Washington Square Park 181 S. Clinton Avenue Rochester, NY 14604
Facebook Event
Anne Tischer (585) 426-0862 anne.tischer1@gmail.com



Time: 6:00pm EDT
Where: Independence Hall, 520 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19106
Facebook Event
Contact: Bob Sullivan (215) 214-9890
Info: This event is being organized by Delaware Valley Americans United, and Bob Sullivan, our PA Chapter Leader, will be participating.


Salt Lake City

Time: 4:00pm MDT
Where: Utah Pride Center, 255 East 400 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
Facebook Event
Contact: Jolene Abbott or Collen Mewing, 801-589-7771 utah@marriageequality.org
info: Rally with speakers organized by Utah Pride.

Additional reading on Proposition 8

SCOTUS blog has published documents relating to the Supreme Court appeal. Click HERE to review the documents.

Read plaintiffs' brief in opposition HERE.

Read proponents' petition for certiorari HERE.

Read the Ninth Circuit's order denying rehearing en banc HERE.

Read the Ninth Circuit's decision HERE.

Read the federal District Court's decision HERE.

Additional reading on DOMA

Lambda Legal has a "one stop DOMA shop" HERE.

Ken Williams is Editor in Chief of SDGLN. He can be reached at ken@sdgln.com, @KenSanDiego on Twitter, or by calling toll-free to 888-442-9639, ext. 713.