Herrera Files Opposition to 10 State AGs to Delay California Marriage Equality Ruling

Relieving other states from their legal duties is not ‘proper ground for continuing to deny lesbians and gay men their fundamental rights’

SAN FRANCISCO (June 2, 2008) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today filed the City’s opposition brief 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. Attorneys General representing the States of Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah was filed with their 9-page brief with the high court Friday.

Herrera’s response filed with the State Supreme Court this afternoon includes the following key points:

  • “Relieving other states’ courts of the need to perform their legal duties is not a proper ground for continuing to deny lesbians and gay men their fundamental rights under the California Constitution.”
  • “Moreover, the ‘concern’ or ‘difficulty’ Utah et al. posit, as the sole basis for asking this Court to continue to deny California’s gay and lesbian citizens their long awaited constitutional rights, is feigned or at least grossly overstated. Utah et al. have for years faced the prospect of having to decide whether to recognize marriages and other legally sanctioned relationships of same-sex couples who have legally married in another state or country.”
  • “So the bottom line is this: Utah et al. ask this Court to deny lesbians and gay men equal protection of the laws and deny them fundamental rights guaranteed them by the liberty and privacy clauses of the California constitution — denials that are per se irreparable harm — in order to delay their resolution of legal questions that they inevitably will have to face anyway, if they have not already.”

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