‘To continue to postpone the constitutional rights of gay and lesbian couples…would be both illegal and inhumane,’ Herrera says
SAN FRANCISCO (May 22, 2008) — The Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund, among the litigants opposing marriage equality in cases finally adjudicated by the California Supreme Court last week, today filed a request for judicial notice and a petition for rehearing with the high court on the limited issue of the remedy in the court’s order. The conservative legal group is seeking to postpone the landmark decision from taking effect until after the November 2008 election, when a proposed constitutional amendment may or may not have qualified for the ballot that would write into California’s Constitution discrimination against lesbians and gay men in marriage rights.
In response, City Attorney Dennis Herrera issued the following statement:
“The Supreme Court’s ruling takes effect on June 16th. To continue to postpone the constitutional rights of gay and lesbian couples for a moment longer, based merely on political speculation as to whether the constitution may be amended, would be both illegal and inhumane.
“I am committed to continuing our fight for marriage equality, and I intend to file the City’s opposition to this motion next week.
“In the interim, I urge both Governor Schwarzenneger and Attorney General Brown to join with us in opposing this organization’s delay tactic. The governor has admirably expressed his acceptance of the Supreme Court’s ruling, and has repeatedly voiced his opposition to efforts to overturn it. In light of his views, I would hope he agrees that there is no reason to continue denying equality and dignity to same-sex couples.”
Citing press reports, the Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund’s motion argues that some county clerks and local officials are expressing reluctance to comply promptly with the Court’s ruling. To the extent such institutional reluctance actually exists, Herrera said, it is likely the result of aggressive lobbying by another party to the Marriage Cases — the so-called “Campaign for California Families” — that has been actively urging defiance of the Court’s ruling by local officials.
The case is In re Marriage Cases, California Supreme Court, No. S147999.