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California high court rejects request to halt same-sex marriages

The Supreme Court of California [official website] on Tuesday rejected a request from Proposition 8 [text, PDF; JURIST news archive] supporters to halt same-sex marriages. Last week attorneys representing Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and Protect Marriage [advocacy websites] filed a petition [JURIST report] emphasizing that the US Supreme Court's decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] did not directly address the constitutionality of Proposition 8, California's same-sex marriage ban. The groups contended that the June decision [JURIST report] from the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] to dissolve the ban on same-sex marriage did not apply state-wide, meaning certain county clerks may still be prohibited from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. While California's high court rejected the the request without issuing an opinion, it is not expected to rule formally [LAT report] on the groups' petition until August.

Same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] continues to be a contentious issue in the US and abroad. Last week Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced that she will not defend [JURIST report] Pennsylvania's statutory ban on same-sex marriage. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a federal lawsuit [JURIST report] in Harrisburg on behalf of 21 Pennsylvania residents who wish to marry their same-sex partner or who are seeking recognition by the state of Pennsylvania of their out-of-state same-sex marriage. In June ADF filed an emergency petition [JURIST report] stating the decision to lift California's ban on gay marriage was not legal and was decided prematurely. The US Supreme Court, however, rejected this request [JURIST report] to block to the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses.

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