Herrera to Oppose Request by 10 State AGs to Delay California Marriage Equality Ruling

Further Delay of Constitutional Rights to Gay and Lesbian Couples Would Be ‘Unprecedented and Inhumane,’ City Attorney Argues

SAN FRANCISCO (May 30, 2008) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today announced that he will file his opposition next week to a request by Attorneys General from ten states asking the California Supreme Court to postpone the effective date of its landmark decision recognizing marriage equality for lesbians and gay couples until after the November 2008 election, when a proposed amendment may go before state voters to write marriage discrimination into California’s Constitution. The 9-page letter brief signed by Attorneys General representing the States of Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah was filed with the high court yesterday. Another, similar request was filed on May 22 by the Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund, one of the litigants opposing marriage equality in cases dating back to February 2004.

“To further delay constitutional rights to gay and lesbian partners based on political conjecture as to whether or not an amendment will pass — or even qualify for the ballot — would be both unprecedented and inhumane,” Herrera said. “I am committed to continuing our fight for marriage equality, and I intend to file the City’s opposition to this request next week. I applaud California Attorney General Jerry Brown for his eloquent opposition to a similar request by an anti-gay advocacy group, and I agree that a modification such as that requested by the Prop 22 group and these state’s attorneys general would politicize our judiciary and compromise its independence.”

Attorney General Brown’s Answer of the State of the California to the Prop 22 group’s petition for rehearing, which was filed with the state high court yesterday, argues that “the stay sought by the Fund would be unprecedented in purpose, would have the effect of mingling judicial processes with political processes, and would be tantamount to anticipatory implementation of the proposed initiative measure even before it is submitted to the voters.”

The case is In re Marriage Cases, California Supreme Court, No. S147999.