Opponents want Calif. court to stop gay weddings

PAUL ELIAS
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Opponents of same-sex marriage on Friday demanded that the California Supreme Court immediately halt same-sex marriages recently resumed in the nation’s largest state after a 9-year legal battle.

ProtectMarriage, the group that sponsored Proposition 8 and its ban on same-sex marriages in 2008, launched a two-pronged legal attack to state officials’ interpretation that the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage when it relied on a legal technicality to toss a lower court’s ruling lifting the marriage ban in June.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that ProtectMarriage had no “standing” to pursue an appeal of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision striking down Proposition 8 after California Gov. Jerry Brown and state Attorney General Kamala Harris declined to defend Proposition 8.

On Friday, ProtectMarriage argued in its petition to the state Supreme Court that Proposition 8 remains California law because the U.S. Supreme Court didn’t rule directly on the constitutionality of same-sex marriages in what’s widely called the “Perry” case.

“The Ninth Circuit’s decision in Perry has been vacated,” The petition stated, “hence there is no appellate decision holding that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.”

Therefore, the petition concluded, the Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages is still in force.

The petition to the state Supreme Court also argued that the original lawsuit filed in San Francisco named only the county clerks of Los Angeles and Alameda counties. They argued the ruling doesn’t reach the 56 other county clerks, who must continue to abide by the marriage ban passed by Proposition 8.

The petition argues that county clerks are independent state officials and that the state registrar — under orders from Gov. Brown and the attorney general — had no authority to order them on June 26 to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

“The Legislature has not imbued the State Registrar with supervisory authority or control over county clerks issuing marriage licenses,” the petition stated.

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