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California courts reject last-minute petitions to block same-sex marriages

[JURIST] The California First District Court of Appeal [official website] Tuesday rejected a petition [PDF text] by anti-same-sex marriage group Liberty Counsel [advocacy website] to block the issuance of new sex-neutral marriages licenses [PDF text; JURIST report]. Liberty Counsel had argued that same-sex marriage licenses should not be issued until after voters decide on a proposed amendment to the state's constitution [ballot material, PDF; proposition website] on the November ballot. The state began issuing licenses after the California Supreme Court ruling [order, PDF; JURIST report] overturning a state ban on same-sex marriage took effect [JURIST report] Monday. A Sacramento Superior Court [official website] judge also refused to order a stay on the marriages Tuesday, finding that a petition filed in his court by several county supervisors should have been filed in San Francisco. The supervisors argued that the licenses should not be issued because California's legislature has not yet re-written laws banning same-sex marriage. AP has more.

California and Massachusetts [JURIST report] are the only two US states to formally recognize same-sex marriages [JURIST news archive], but unlike Massachusetts, California does not impose residency restrictions. Several other states permit same-sex civil unions [JURIST news archive], and in May New York Governor David Paterson ordered [memo, PDF; JURIST report] that state agencies recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages as legal marriages in New York. Many states have banned same-sex unions through statutes or amendments.

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