SAN FRANCISCO — A nationally-recognized Christian legal organization has filed a petition with the California Supreme Court asking that it order county clerks throughout the state to uphold Proposition 8 and not issue “marriage” licenses to homosexuals.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has been one of the main legal entities defending Proposition 8 in the courts, including in the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to rule on the matter last month. The court had stated that those defending Proposition 8 in Hollingsworth v. Perry did not have legal standing in the case, since California government officials decided not to appeal the lower court’s ruling, which found the state’s marriage amendment unconstitutional.
Therefore, the matter was sent back to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which lifted a stay on the district court’s injunction on June 28. As a result, California State Registrar Tony Agurto ordered all county clerks in the state to begin issuing “marriage” licenses to homosexuals. According to reports, Attorney General Kamala Harris has threatened to take legal action against any clerk who refuses to do so.
However, ADF asserts that Agurto did not have the authority to issue the order, and states that that the district court’s injunction against Proposition 8 did not apply to the entire state. On Friday, the organization asked the California Supreme Court to acknowledge those two contentions.
“Article III, section 3.5 of the California Constitution prohibits government agencies and officials from declaring state law unenforceable, or declining to enforce state law, on the basis that the law is unconstitutional, unless an appellate court has first made that determination,” the petition states.
“The Ninth Circuit’s decision in Perry has been vacated; hence there is no appellate decision holding that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional,” it continues. “Petitioners are thus entitled to a writ of mandate requiring Respondents to comply with state law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.”
Later that day, Attorney General Harris filed a counter-brief with the court, arguing that the licenses should be allowed to move forward.
“Today’s filing by the proponents of Proposition 8 is yet another attempt to deny same-sex couples their constitutionally protected civil rights,” she wrote in a statement. “It is baseless and we will continue to fight against it.”
However, ADF maintains that it indeed has a legal basis for its arguments, and that the state is not adhering to the rule of law.
“Everyone on all sides of the marriage debate should agree that the legal process must be followed. Public officials should enforce the marriage amendment because they are not bound by the district court’s injunction,” Senior Counsel Austin R. Nimocks stated. “The U.S. Supreme Court did not rule on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, and the district court’s injunction does not apply statewide; therefore, county clerks should abide by the state Constitution.”
“The more than 7 million Californians that approved Proposition 8 have a right to see the rule of law–and the constitutional initiatives that the people enact–respected,” he added.
Photo: Cool Caesar