No one knows for sure what the decision will be — but, given the length of time this has taken, it's perfectly possible the court will order civil marriage equality immediately without a stay. That would lead to thousands of irrevocable civil marriages and set up a ballot initiative this fall as a potential watershed for civil rights.I think it's widely expected that the court is going to legalize gay marriage, and the initiative to strike down their ruling has already gathered over a million signatures and is just waiting for verification from the Secretary of State before it goes on the November ballot. It's 14 words long, identical to the wording of Prop 22 back in 2000: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." This time, however, it's a constitutional initiative, not a statutory initiative, so if it passes it will be immune to court challenges.
Those in favor of civil equality better get ready. The gay civil rights movement will never have waged a battle this big, this expensive or this important. We can win at the ballot box as well as in the courts and legislatures. And the good news is that the Republican governor has said he will oppose any initiative to take marriage rights away, if they are granted. Hold on tight.
Prop 22 passed overwhelmingly with 63% of the vote. Has 13% of the state decided to relax since then and allow gay couples to live in peace? We're about to find out.