The California Supreme Court on Monday rejected a legal request to stop counties from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
“Everyone on all sides of the marriage debate should agree that the legal process must be followed,” attorney Austin R. Nimocks of Alliance Defending Freedom said. “Although we would have preferred for the California Supreme Court to issue a stay so that the state’s marriage amendment would be respected sooner rather than later, the proponents of Proposition 8 will continue to urge the court to uphold the rule of law. We remain hopeful that the court will recognize that Proposition 8 remains the law of the land in California and that county clerks must continue to enforce it.”
The California Supreme Court will still consider whether a 2010 federal ruling applied statewide.
Supporters of Proposition 8 argue that the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry did not rule on the constitutionality of California’s same-sex marriage ban. The Supreme Court only ruled on the issue of standing.
In 2010, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled the ban was unconstitutional. Supporters of Proposition 8, however, argued the ruling only applied to two county clerks. The other 56 county clerks in California must still abide by the state’s ban, they said.
“The man-woman definition of marriage, as passed by the voters, is still a valid part of our state constitution. Yet county clerks statewide are lawlessly defying that law by issuing gender-neutral marriage licenses. We are asking California’s Supreme Court to restore the rule of law and the public’s confidence in the integrity of the initiative process,” said attorney Andrew Pugno of ProtectMarriage.com, who filed the petition.
[Same sex marriage via Shutterstock]