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Rediff.com  » News » Group asks California SC to stop same-sex marriages

Group asks California SC to stop same-sex marriages

Last updated on: July 13, 2013 15:57 IST

California State Attorney General Kamala D Harris Friday filed a brief with the California supreme court in response to the petition filed by proponents of Proposition 8. In the brief, Harris urged the court to deny the proponents’ request to stop counties from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

"The filing by the proponents of Proposition 8 is yet another attempt to deny same-sex couples their constitutionally protected civil rights. It is baseless and we will continue to fight against it,” Harris said.

Opponents of same-sex marriage had filed the petition on July 12 at the California supreme court asking to order the state’s county clerks to halt these marriages. The petition has been filed together by the alliance defending freedom attorneys and Andrew P Pugno, a general counsel for ProtectMarriage.com (who sponsored the 2008 ballot measure banning gay marriage), the banner organisation for the official proponents and campaign committee of Proposition 8.

California has 58 counties and since June 28 has been conducting marriages of same-sex couples after the US court of appeals for the ninth circuit in San Francisco lifted its stay on same-sex marriages.

Monica K, spokesperson of Trikone, a non- profit organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people of South Asians in San Francisco Bay Area commenting on the new development told Rediff.com, “In my understanding that the proponents of Prop 8 are arguing that the supreme court decision only applies to the couples involved in the specific case that was heard by the SC. Therefore, according to the proponents, Proposition 8 is still a valid law in California and the county clerks should not be allowed to perform marriages until Proposition 8 is formally repealed through the standard process of proposition repeal.”

She said, “I don't think they are going to succeed because the social momentum and view has changed in the past five years. It would be extremely difficult for these people to succeed.”

"Trikone is confident that the proponents' request will be denied. Opinions about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community are shifting in a positive direction. This is the second appeal made by the proponents and they are simply making a desperate last minute effort to stop marriages between same-sex couples,” said Monica.

She added that even California Governor Jerry Brown and Harris said that they would make sure that marriages continue. And to make sure the marriages continue, San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera opposed the move by the proponents.

”This motion is a desperate obstruction tactic used in the vain hope of pursuing an unconstitutional agenda,” said Herrera in a press statement.

"The opponents of the freedom to marry have chosen to ignore the supremacy clause of the constitution, a US supreme court ruling, and the well-settled California marriage case of Lockyer v San Francisco, which they themselves celebrated at the time. Their motion has essentially no chance to succeed,” he said.

“The most basic concepts of American law tell us that a state court cannot and will not overrule the federal judiciary. The citizens of California are left wondering when these people will realise that, having lost the moral struggle years and years ago, they have now lost the legal struggle as well. Marriage equality is now the law in California, and will remain so from this point onward. Together we will soon see the day when it is the law all across America.”

Ritu Jha