The California Supreme Court recently denied a bid to stop same sex marriages within the state while it considers a petition arguing that the ban on same sex marriage is still valid in all but two counties within the state. For same sex couples, the right to obtain a marriage license, which was banned in November 2008 with the passing of Proposition 8, was recently reinstated based on a decision issued by the United States Supreme Court.
Recent United States Supreme Court ruling reinstated same sex couples’ right to marriage.
In the recent United States Supreme Court ruling, the country’s highest court determined that the sponsors of Proposition 8, which led to the 2008 ban on same sex marriages in California, lacked the legal authority to challenge a federal trial judge’s ruling which found the ban on same sex marriages in violation of the constitutional rights of gay and lesbian California residents.
Petitioners argue that the Supreme Court’s ruling should be interpreted such that it only applies to two counties within California.
Proponents of the petition, which is currently being considered by the California Supreme Court, argue that a companion directive order issued by the trial judge, which required the governor, attorney general, and state public health director to cease enforcing Proposition 8 thereby lifting the ban on same sex marriages, was limited in jurisdictional scope. They argue that the directive order only applies to the two couples that sued to overturn Proposition 8 and to the counties in which they applied for marriage licenses, namely Alameda and Los Angeles counties.
California Supreme Court requested additional written arguments.
The California Supreme Court will have to determine whether it will take on the case at all. In order to make this decision, the California Supreme Court requested that additional written arguments be submitted by the first of August. At least 24 county clerks have submitted briefs arguing that state officials should guide actions with regard to issuing marriage licenses. They reason that guidance from state officials would ensure that marriage laws are consistent throughout the state.
Bid to cease same sex marriages in the interim was made by the County Clerk of San Diego County.
The request to stop same sex marriages while the California Supreme Court decides whether or not it will take on the petition was made by County Clerk Ernest Dronenburg Jr., an elected government official responsible for issuing marriage licenses in San Diego County. Dronenburg, a Republican, was elected as San Diego County Clerk in 2010. He is widely known for his position on tax issues and his views on the authority of the governor, state attorney general and state officials who oversee marriage records.
If you are a same sex couple that is considering marriage or if you are a married same sex couple that is concerned about how this case could impact your marital status, you should contact an attorney immediately. An attorney can help provide you ease of mind by explaining how litigation surrounding the recent United States Supreme Court ruling may impact you.
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