Mayor John Duran believes that marriage equality will prevail despite the California Supreme Court’s ruling Thursday that legally entitles sponsors of Proposition 8 to defend the same-sex marriage ban in court when the state refuses to do so.
A defeat for gay rights groups, the state high court's decision is expected to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, allowing federal courts to decide the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans outside California.
"Today was a minor setback. It really was a decision on the procedure more than the substance," Duran told Patch Thursday evening, following a news conference at City Hall. "I anticipate that we will probably prevail."
Duran believes the West Hollywood community will wait to rally until a substantive ruling is made by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is currently hearing the Proposition 8 case.
"Given that 37 percent of our population is LGBT, whenever there is a court decision, we respond, because it affects so many of our residents," said Duran. "We've been carefully watching all of the legislation involving this."
West Hollywood was one of the first cities in the country to pass a resolution in support of same-sex marriage. From June 17 until Nov. 4, 2008, the city of West Hollywood issued more than 1,000 same-sex marriage licenses and performed more than 600 marriage ceremonies, according to a city statement.
Gay rights groups are remaining optimistic. The NOH8 Campaign is calling the decision a victory in the long run, "if only because it once again thrusts the issue of same-sex marriage into the media spotlight," the organization stated in its Thursday newsletter, "raising awareness for the ongoing fight for equal rights."