Marriage Equality Folks Still Trying to Stop Gay Marriage
Two San Francisco pols -- California Attorney General Kamala Harris and San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera -- rebuffed marriage equality opponents today, urging the California Supreme Court Monday to ignore two new lawsuits aimed to, again, try to stop same-sex marriage.
Get over it!
The two lawsuits are attempting to prevent same-sex couples from marrying in California, arguing that Proposition 8, a 2008 voter initiative that banned gay marriage, is still valid, despite the fact that its two-year course through the court system has proved otherwise.
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On June 24, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Prop. 8 proponents lacked legal standing to appeal a lower court decision, effectively legalizing marriage equality in California. In the weekend following the ruling, more than 400 same-sex couples in San Francisco rushed to City Hall to tie the knot over Gay Pride weekend.
Harris urged the California Supreme Court in a filing today to deny the request of San Diego County Clerk Ernest Dronenburg, who on Friday petitioned for an immediate stay of the June 24 state order requiring clerks to resume issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
Dronenburg, who claimed he is "caught in the crossfire of a legal struggle over the definition of marriage," argues he is not bound by a federal court injunction that blocked enforcement of Proposition 8 since he believes it is still valid. Dronenburg's petition argues that District Judge Vaughn Walker of San Francisco, who struck down Proposition 8 in 2010, only had the authority to mandate the marriages of two couples who challenged the measure in a civil rights lawsuit -- not for gays across the entire state.
But on Friday, Harris threatened to take action against any county clerks who denied gay couples their right to marry -- that goes for Dronenburg, too. Then today, she argued that Walker's order had the power to issue a statewide injunction because the federal constitutional rights of all gay and lesbian couples are at stake. Effectively, anyone who does not issue marriage licenses is acting against the law, Harris says.
Meanwhile in San Francisco, City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed his own response with the California Supreme Court in a separate attempt by Proposition 8 supporters to block same-sex couples from marrying, also claiming the ban on gay marriage is still valid.
"This lawsuit goes beyond desperation," Herrera said in a statement released today. He argued that no one can enforce an unconstitutional law, including county clerks, adding that the high court "must reject Proponents' attempt to a state court end‐run around the federal court's judgment."
"With our filing today, San Francisco has made its response to the Supreme Court of California, making the simple argument that the federal district court has already decided that Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution and cannot be enforced constitutionally in any square inch of the state against any same‐sex couple," Herrera said in a statement.
"In what we hope is a very short time, the Court will finally put a stop to these inhumane efforts to deny or delay a basic freedom to hundreds of thousands of Californians."
Dronenburg and his attorneys from the Rancho Santa Fe-based Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund have until Tuesday morning to file a reply to the court.