San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said Friday that his office will promptly oppose a motion filed by Protectmarriage.com that seeks to halt same-sex marriage in the state.
[Updated: Monday, July 15: the California Supreme Court this afternoon denied a request to halt same-sex marriages in the state in a brief, two-sentence order signed by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye. The court will consider protectmarriage.com’s bid to revive Prop 8 and briefs are expected to be filed in the next couple of weeks.]
In its filing, Protectmarriage.com said that 56 of the state’s 58 counties are obligated by the state constitution to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. After the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 decision that upheld a lower court ruling – and after the appellate court lifted its stay – Governor Jerry Brown ordered state officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Protectmarriage.com filed a motion July 12 with the state Supreme Court that contends that Brown did not have the authority to direct county officials to stop enforcing Prop 8 because the measure had not been deemed unconstitutional by an appellate court. The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling, holding that the measure’s sponsors lacked standing to appeal, left intact a lower federal court decision that Prop 8, California’s same-sex marriage ban, was unconstitutional.
The petition filed Friday is Hollingsworth v. O’Connell.
In a statement, Herrera call the move by Protectmarriage.com “desperate.”
“This motion is a desperate obstruction tactic used in the vain hope of pursuing an unconstitutional agenda,” Herrera said. “The opponents of the freedom to marry have chosen to ignore the supremacy clause of the Constitution, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, and the well-settled California marriage case of Lockyer v. San Francisco, which they themselves celebrated at the time.”
Herrera was referring to the 2004 case where the court determined that the 4,000 same-sex marriages performed in San Francisco were void because public officials acted unlawfully in issuing the marriage licenses.
Herrera went on to note that Protectmarriage.com’s motion “has essentially no chance to succeed.”
Herrera said the city will file its motion because it was named as a defendant, along with the rest of the counties in the state.
The Bay Area Reporter will update this post as warranted.