National

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Breaking: No gay marriages in Calif. until at least December

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that gay marriages cannot resume in California until after the court hears an appeal from the groups who fought to uphold Proposition 8.

The appeals court scheduled a hearing on the appeal for the week of Dec. 6, and ordered the sides to address the issue of who has standing to appeal the ballot measure that barred gay couples from marrying in California.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker struck down Prop 8 in a landmark ruling Aug. 4, holding that the ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of due process and equal protection.

On Thursday, Walker declined to permanently stay his ruling during the appeals process, but held that gay marriages could not resume in California before Aug. 18, giving the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals time to rule on a possible stay.

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Judge: Calif. gay marriages resume Aug. 18 unless appeals court acts

There were cheers outside San Francisco City Hall at 12:24 Pacific time Thursday afternoon as news emerged that U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker had denied a request to delay enforcement of his ruling against Proposition 8. But those cheers were mitigated a few minutes later when details of the judge’s order were revealed: Walker continued to delay enforcement of his decision until August 18, giving the Yes on 8 supporters of the measure ample time to seek a stay from the 9th Circuit or even the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.

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Tenofovir found safe among gay, bisexual men in new study

A Phase II study of 400 gay and bisexual HIV-negative men who took tenofovir daily through pill form showed no serious safety concerns and could be a resource in the future for the prevention of the spread of the virus, according to researchers.

The study, funded by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, was presented at the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria, on July 23. The study was conducted by the AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta, the San Francisco Department of Public Health and Fenway Community Health in Boston.

Tenofovir is an oral drug, also known by its brand name Viread. It is used alone or in combination with other antiviral drugs to treat HIV. Tenofovir is not a cure nor is it known for sure if it will prevent the spread of HIV to other people, according to the National Institutes of Health.

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Senate confirms Elena Kagan

The U.S. Senate today confirmed the appointment of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court, but not without complaints from nearly every Republican opposing her nomination about her actions concerning Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

The vote was 63 to 37, with only five Republicans voting for Kagan and one Democrat voting against.

The Senate’s newest Republican member, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, voted against Kagan.

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Prop 8 victory, but stayed

U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker ruled Wednesday that California’s ballot measure banning same-sex marriage violates the federal constitution’s guarantees to equal protection and due process of law. A few minutes after issuing the decision, Walker also issued a temporary stay of its impact and directed attorneys challenging the initiative to respond to request by August 6.

The 136-page decision, which has been much anticipated by both sides of the same-sex marriage debate, says supporters of Proposition 8 failed to establish any rational or legitimate reason for prohibiting same-sex couples from having marriage licenses.