Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker will decide today on whether to extend the temporary stay he granted in the Prop 8 case until it is heard in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals or lift the stay and allow the legal recognition of gay marriages to resume immediately.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown have urged Walker to lift the stay, which would allow same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses as early as this afternoon. In a written statement, Schwarzenegger’s office assured the court that, “Government officials can resume issuing such licenses without administrative delay or difficulty.”

Judge Walker is expected to issue his ruling before noon (PST) today.