The sponsors of Proposition 8 asked the California Supreme Court today to block the continuation of same-sex marriages in the state.
The sponsors argued in a petition filed with the court in San Francisco that at least 56 of the state’s 58 county clerks are obligated by the state Constitution to refuse to issue gay and lesbian marriage licenses.
Proposition 8, enacted by state voters in 2008, amended the California Constitution to ban gay marriage.
Its sponsors contend that only the two lesbian and gay couples from Alameda and Los Angeles counties who challenged the Proposition 8 in a federal lawsuit are protected by an injunction issued by a federal trial judge.
Andrew Pugno, a lawyer for the sponsors, said, “The man-woman definition of marriage, as passed by the voters, is still a valid part of our state Constitution.”
Pugno said, “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.”
Same-sex marriages resumed in California on June 28 after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a stay of the injunction issued by now-retired U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker of San Francisco.
The appeals court acted after the U.S. Supreme Court two days earlier ruled that the sponsors had no standing to defend Proposition 8 after Gov. Jerry Brown and state Attorney General Kamala Harris refused to do so.
Both of the couples who challenged Proposition 8 got married on June 28, and Brown ordered county clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples statewide.
Theodore Olson, a lawyer for the plaintiffs in the federal case, said, “This latest filing is utterly baseless.
“Any county that defies the federal court’s injunction is at risk not only of contempt of court but also a lawsuit under the federal civil rights laws for which it would be liable for damages and the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees,” Olson said.
He said, “Proponents’ latest effort to stop loving couples from marrying in California is a desperate and frivolous act.”
The California Supreme Court has no deadline for acting on the petition.
Julia Cheever, Bay City News