[JURIST] California Attorney General Bill Lockyer [official website] on Monday requested the California Supreme Court [official website] to grant a petition to review an intermediate appellate court's decision to uphold [JURIST report] a state law prohibiting same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive]. Lockyer, who supports the state ban, noted the importance of settling the issue for same-sex couples in the state. In the appeals court, Lockyer argued [JURIST report] that California should be allowed to maintain its traditional definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman, approved by the Legislature in 1977 [text] and by voters in 2000 [text], and that most benefits afforded to spouses under state law are also available to same-sex couples through domestic partnership registration.
The lawsuits stem from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's 2005 decision to issue marriage licenses to 4,000 same-sex couples. The California Supreme Court, without addressing the merits of same-sex marriage, ruled that the mayor had exceeded his authority. In August, the state high court issued a statement [JURIST report] that it would not immediately take up the case, but now that the appeals court has ruled the justices are expected to grant review. The Mercury News has more.