Grammy winner and singer Melissa Etheridge is one of many rejoicing after Wednesday's Supreme Court gay-marriage rulings. Now that the Court has cleared the way for gay marriages to resume in California, Etheridge, 52, is celebrating.
How, exactly? With an announcement that she and partner Linda Wallem are officially tying the knot.
Etheridge, who has been dating Wallem, also 52, for three years now, phoned-in to CNN to publicly announce her good news. But not so fast: Before she and Wallem can actually legally get married, they will likely have to wait at least 25 days.
Why 25 Days?
The U.S. Supreme Court, in Hollingsworth v. Perry, voted 5-4 to uphold a lower court's decision that struck down Proposition 8. The state ballot measure, approved by voters in 2008, limited marriage in California to heterosexual copules.
However, despite the decision being officially released Wednesday, there is still a bit of a waiting game for Etheridge and Wallem, along with other same-sex couples in California who wish to marry.
The decision is now going back to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which imposed a stay on the lower court's decision. Now, the stay will need to be lifted.
In a statement issued Wednesday, the Ninth Circuit said that could take at least 25 days. That's how long it may take for the Supreme Court's Prop 8 decision to become official.
"It's the general practice of the 9th Circuit to wait until it actually has the judgment in hand before taking any action," a court spokesman told the Associated Press. California's attorney general, however, said she would ask the 9th Circuit to lift its stay sooner.
After the stay is lifted, the issuance of licenses and performance of civil marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples in California, including Etheridge and Wallem, will resume instantly.
Meantime, this moment is still worth rejoicing for Etheridge and Wallem. As they wait for the stay to be lifted, perhaps they can work on getting their prenup in order. This way, once 25 days (and hopefully not more) passes, they'll be ready to go.
Regardless of the delay, though, other celebrities are celebrating as well.
While not part of a gay couple, actress Kristen Bell, who had always been adamant about not marrying until everyone in California could, proposed via Twitter to her then-boyfriend (now-fiance) Dax Shephard, USA Today reports. Many, many other celebrities are rejoicing too.
- Melissa Etheridge, Linda Wallem engaged following Defense of Marriage Act ruling (New York Daily News)
- Supreme Court Rules on Gay Marriage Cases (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Supreme Court: Prop 8 Supporters Have No Standing to Sue (FindLaw's Decided)
- States That Allow Same-Sex Marriage (FindLaw)