SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to halt gay marriages in the state, leaving opponents of same-sex weddings few _ if any _ legal options to stop the unions.
The brief, unanimous ruling tossed out a legal challenge by ban supporters without addressing their legal arguments in support of Proposition 8, a ballot measure passed by voter in 2008 that banned gay marriage.
Austin R. Nimocks, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, a group that wants to end gay marriage, said the ruling does not end the debate in California. He called on lawmakers to ban gay marriage but declined to say whether a legal challenge will be filed.
“Though the current California officials are unwilling to enforce the state constitution, we remain hopeful that one day Californians will elect officials who will,” he said.
Supporters of gay marriage were girding for a continued fight.
“By now, I suppose we know better than to predict that Prop 8 proponents will actually give up their fight,” San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said. “But it’s certainly fair to say that their remaining legal options are increasingly absurd.”
The state high court ruling came about two months after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider the issue, leaving in place a lower-court ruling that struck down the ballot measure as unconstitutional.
On June 28, Gov. Jerry Brown ordered county clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Prop 8 supporters filed an emergency petition with the state Supreme Court arguing that the federal lawsuit at issue applied only to the two couple who filed it and to Alameda and Los Angeles counties, where they live. They claimed the marriage ban remained law in 56 counties since the federal lawsuit at issue wasn’t a class action lawsuit on behalf of all California gay couples wishing to marry.
U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker previously issued a sweeping opinion saying Prop 8 violated equal protection guarantees in the U.S. Constitution by denying the two California couples a chance to marry in the state.
Prop 8 backers were briefly joined by San Diego County Clerk Ernest Dronenburg Jr., who filed a nearly identical legal challenge with the state Supreme Court last month urging an immediate halt to gay weddings.
Dronenburg, however, withdrew his lawsuit last week, saying his challenge was too similar to that of Prop 8 backers to merit a separate legal bid.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- 2016 college football rivalry games you simply can't miss
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- Diet, exercise and aspirin: 3 tools to fight colon cancer
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl