Judge to rule on stay Thursday in Prop. 8 case

SAN FRANCISCO — The federal judge who overturned California's same-sex marriage ban says he is ready to rule on whether gay marriages should resume immediately in the state or await an appeals court's input.

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker said he would issue his decision Thursday by noon on requests to impose a stay that would keep Proposition 8 in effect while its sponsors appeal his decision.

California voters passed the ban in November 2008, five months after the state Supreme Court legalized gay marriage.

Walker last week struck it down as an unconstitutional violation of gay Californians' civil rights.

Supporters argued the ban was necessary to safeguard the traditional understanding of marriage and to encourage responsible childbearing.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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