California's ban on same-sex marriage will stay in place until at least December following a federal appeals court ruling on Monday. The court extended the stay on gay marriages until it considers an appeal of Judge Vaughn Walker's decision to overturn Proposition 8. The ruling is being interpreted as both positive and negative for same-sex marriage advocates. Here's why:

  • No Reason to Give Up Hope, writes liberal Steve Benen at Washington Monthly: "This will, no doubt, be deeply disappointing to couples whose rights are being denied. That said, yesterday's move shouldn't be interpreted as a hint about the eventual outcome -- issuing a stay doesn't mean the appeals bench will reverse the lower court's ruling on the case. Indeed, the three-judge panel that extended the stay yesterday won't even be the same three-judge panel that will hear the appeal." Brian Devine at Calitics adds: "This is very good news for us. It shows that the Court has serious doubts about whether the Appellants have standing. Even better, the Court is expressing an opinion that its inclination is that the case should be dismissed."
  • Where It Goes From Here  Jesse Zwick at the Washington Independent explains: "With California's governor and the attorney general declining to appeal on their behalf, the nonprofit and religious groups supporting Prop 8 would have to prove sufficient injury as a result of the ban being overturned in order to initiate a successful appeal. Judge Walker, for one, expressed skepticism about that prospect in his ruling, but it's up to the 9th circuit now to asses whether they are allowed to keep fighting the issue in the courts."
  • Another Example of the Power of Judges, writes neoconservative pundit Jennifer Rubin at Commentary: "Most of the domestic agenda pushed by Obama is reversible or may never go into effect if the 2010 and 2012 elections put Republicans back in power. But Supreme Court appointments, especially since presidents started appointing youthful justices, last a very long time, and the handiwork of the appointees is difficult to reverse. We will get a glimpse of just how influential the Obama justices will be."
  • This May Have a Larger Effect on California as a Whole, writes Zandar, a blogger: "That question of standing doesn't affect just the Prop 8 proponents, but the State of California as well. Can a state be compelled to defend a law that it believes is unconstitutional if the traditional check and balance function of a Governor's veto is bypassed due to the law being a state constitutional referendum? Does this call into question California's referendum process? We'll see."
  • Start the Clock, writes Jon Bershad at Mediaite: "This gives same-sex couples four months to wait and politicians campaigning in midterm elections three months to bicker over the subject."