State Attorney Gen. Asks Courts to Lift Gay Marriage Ban

California's attorney general has asked a federal appeals court to allow gay marriages to resume while the court considers the constitutionality of the state's ban on same-sex unions, according to the Associated Press.

Attorney General Kamala Harris submitted a petition to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday regarding Prop 8, the a voter-passed initiative that bans same-sex marriage,

Right now, the 9th Circuit court is considering its constitutionality on appeal after a trial judge struck down the ban last year. The court imposed a stay on that ruling during the appeals process.

In Tuesday's petition, Harris joined lawyers for the two gay couples who sued to overturn Proposition 8 in asking the court to lift the stay.

Harris, who previously served as San Francisco's district attorney, succeeded Gov. Jerry Brown as attorney general in January. Brown refused to defend Proposition 8 before the appeals court.

In her brief, Harris argues that since Brown left office "events have demonstrated that if the stay ever was justified, it is no longer."

She also cites President Barack Obama's decision to abandon support of the Defense of Marriage Act , which defines marriage as being between a man and a woman, as another reason the stay should be lifted.

Imperial County Clerk Chuck Storey submitted a brief to the 9th Circuit Court last week claiming his participation as a defender of the initiative is both "appropriate" and "necessary." He says his duties as clerk will be affected by whether gay marriage is legal, and in that role, he says he wants to step in as an official party to defend Prop. 8 in the appeal.

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