About a dozen members of Napa's gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and questioning community were joined by supporters and media reporters this morning in the community room at to await the federal appeals court ruling on Proposition 8, the voter-approved ballot measure banning same-sex marriage.
Just after 10 a.m., cheers erupted at word of the 2-1 ruling, by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, that the ban is unconstitutional.
The ruling was issued in a civil rights lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco by two same-sex couples in 2009.
Proposition 8 was approved by state voters in 2008. Its sponsors appealed to the 9th Circuit after U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled in 2010 that the measure was unconstitutional.
But while Napa residents sang "Going to the Chapel" following the news, same-sex marriages aren't resuming immediately: Today's decision can be appealed further to an expanded 11-judge panel of the 9th Circuit and to the U.S. Supreme Court.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the marriage ban remains in effect until the expected appeals are settled.
For a statement from Napa County Clerk John Tuteur, please see Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Still on Hold.
Bay City News Service contributed to this report.