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    June 04, 2008

    Calif. high court refuses delay

    Posted by: Chris

    Better buckle up, fellas. It's going to be a bumpy ride:

    The California Supreme Court denied a request today to put its ruling allowing same-sex marriages on hold until after the November election, clearing the way for gay and lesbian weddings to begin June 17.

    Opponents of the court's May 15 ruling had asked the justices to stay the decision until Californians vote Nov. 4 on a constitutional amendment that would overturn the court's decision.

    The court denied the request for a stay by a 4-3 vote, the same margin by which the justices declared last month that a 31-year-old state law defining marriage as being between a man and a woman violated the state Constitution.

    That last paragraph is actually erroneous.The justices voted 4-3, aligning the same as for the original opinion, on the petitions for rehearing, which would reopen the ruling for reconsideration. That's to be expected, since the three dissenters would favor reconsideration and a different result.

    But the justices were unanimous in rejecting a stay of the ruling until the November election, as well they should be. Courts typically grant a stay to allow a higher court to review a ruling, but doing so because a ballot measure would amend the state constitution, nullifying the court's ruling -- and also the constitutional rights recognized therein -- would set an absolutely horrible precedent.

    Today's ruling is only a page long but take a look if you want to confirm what I'm saying about the report being inaccurate. Download ca_supreme_court_denies_rehearing_and_stay_in_marriage_cases.pdf .

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    Comments

    1. Hawyer on Jun 4, 2008 3:36:09 PM:

      So how many gay Californians - and residents of other states, since California has no residence requirement - can get hitched between June now and November? Here's hoping the floodgates break with matrimony --- essentially abrogating California's gay marriage amendment and its ugly backers.

      The gambit is that with thousands of same-sex marriages legally on the books, there is utterly no precedent in law that could or would nullify those marriages after the fact -- and the Cal Supremes clearly know that. Even dissenting Justice Carol Corrigan (lesbian) saw fit to NOT to stay the decision - and as Martha Stewart would say: "That's a good thing."

      This is essentially what happened in Massachusetts, Mit Romney's support of a retroactive gay marriage amendment notwithstanding. (good 'ole Mit!)

    1. Susan J on Jun 4, 2008 10:32:16 PM:

      You know, you raised a very interesting point that NONE of the other sources I looked at did. Regarding the fact that the decision against the stay was UNANIMOUS. As it should have been. You can't decide that a certain group of citizens have been denied their constitutional rights, and then say "Oh, but it's okay if they keep being denied their rights for another six months." That would be unconscionable.

      I still believe that this six month window will be the turning point in the entire debate. People will marry, in droves. And, if the people fighting against the ballot initiative do it right, the their argument will be, "Are you going to vote to rip these families apart?" Californians are more decent than that. This is the end of the debate.

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