Opponents want Calif. court to stop gay weddings

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 12, 2013 at 11:21 pm •  Published: July 12, 2013
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"Today's 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.

"The Legislature has not imbued the state registrar with supervisory authority or control over county clerks issuing marriage licenses," the ProtectMarriage petition stated.

Ted Olson, one of several high-profile attorneys who represented same-sex couples in the courts, called the petition "utterly baseless."

Olson said any county clerk refusing to follow the state's orders to issue same-sex marriage licenses faced contempt of court charges and federal civil rights lawsuits.

"Proponents' latest effort to stop loving couples from marrying in California is a desperate and frivolous act," Olson said.

University of California, Davis law professor Vikram Amar predicted the state Supreme Court would reject the petition and keep same-sex marriages intact.

Amar said the petition's main arguments appear to fall only under the jurisdiction of federal judges. Since the U.S. Supreme Court has already banned ProtectMarriage and its allies from defending Proposition 8 in federal court, it appears they have almost no legal recourse, he said.

"My guess is that the California Supreme Court will not be eager to wade into this because so much of this turns on federal questions," Amar said.

A ruling is not expected until at least Aug. 1, the last day the California Supreme Court said it would accept written arguments on the matter.

The state Supreme Court in 2008 ruled 4-3 that same-sex marriages were legal, which prompted marriage foes to place Proposition 8 on the ballot. Since then, two of the justices who voted for gay marriage have retired.