Conservative group petitions for stay of California same-sex marriage decision

[JURIST] Alliance Defense Fund [advocacy website], a conservative Christian legal advocacy group, petitioned [text, PDF] the Supreme Court of California [court website] Thursday to stay its May 15 decision [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] overturning a ban on same-sex marriage until the outcome of the November state elections. It is expected that the November ballot will include an amendment to the California state constitution banning same-sex marriage. In the petition, Alliance Defense Fund argues that "permitting this decision to take effect immediately - in light of the realistic possibility that the people of California might amend their constitution to reaffirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman - risks legal havoc and uncertainty of immeasurable magnitude." San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera [official website] indicated that he would file a motion next week urging the court to reject the petition [AP report], characterizing it as a delay tactic and saying that any further postponement of the constitutional rights of gay and lesbian couples "based merely on political speculation as to whether the constitution may be amended would be both illegal and inhumane." The San Francisco Chronicle has local coverage.

The lawsuits stemmed from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's 2004 decision to issue marriage licenses to 4,000 same-sex couples [JURIST report]. In 2006, the state attorney general requested [JURIST report] a review of an intermediate appellate court's decision to uphold [JURIST report] the same-sex marriage ban. Also on Thursday the AP reported on efforts by the California Office of Public Records to rewrite marriage license forms [AP report] in light of the California Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriages.

 

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