Calif. county clerk butts heads with politicians on Prop. 8
California Supreme Court justices shot down a petition from a San Diego County clerk and said that yes, the man must grant licenses to gay couples who wish to marry, despite existing state law.
A legal group is vowing to defend county clerks in California who, in the face of orders from Sacramento to do otherwise, choose to enforce and defend the state’s marriage amendment.
Following last month’s Supreme Court ruling against California’s Proposition 8, state officials ordered all county clerks to start issuing marriage licenses to homosexual couples – even though Prop. 8 remains in effect. In response, proponents of the voter-approved constitutional amendment filed a lawsuit in the California Supreme Court to stop illegal homosexual “weddings.”
The lawsuit was filed under the name of San Diego County Clerk Ernest Dronenburg, who says Governor Jerry Brown and judges have no authority to force clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Dronenburg says his job is to uphold state law – a duty that California officials have abandoned.
But California Attorney General Kamala Harris is asking the California Supreme Court to ignore the request to halt “gay marriages” in the state, arguing that it could interfere with a federal court order. Her office issued a statement that said the “the public interest weighs sharply against issuing a stay in this case” because “after years of litigation, there is now a final determination that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.”
Staver, Mat (Liberty Counsel)Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel is pleased that Dronenburg is “standing up against the bullying tactics” of Governor Brown and Attorney General Harris.
“Clearly the governor and the attorney general over-stepped their bounds and engaged in lawlessness by threatening the clerks to force them to issue same-sex marriage licenses, period,” the attorney tells OneNewsNow. “Proposition 8 is still the law of the land and will remain the law of the land until a federal court of appeals strikes it down – and that has not happened.”
Linda Harvey of the pro-family group Mission America says citizens of the state cannot ignore that California officials are refusing to uphold Prop. 8, even though it is still state law. “No citizen of the state of California can feel comfortable living in a state where the officials will not defend law as it is made and as it is passed by the people,” she says.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Dronenburg explained that all he is really seeking is “clarity and finality” on the legality of Prop. 8. “If [the court] answer[s], it will be over and we’ll have a final decision,” he stated. “And if they don’t, those issues can be brought up in the future.”
The California Constitution still defines marriage as between a man and woman, yet state officials — reacting to recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage — have ordered the granting of marriage licenses to gay couples.
Clerk Ernest Dronenburg asked the court to intercede and put a halt to the state demand, arguing that Proposition 8, the state measure that defines marriage as between a man and a woman, is still the law of the land, United Press International reported. His lawyers also said he was in “a quandary” over the conflicting legal questions, UPI said.
But the justices denied his argument, 6-0, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday. This is the second time in just a few days the court has rejected that line of argument. Proposition 8 sponsors asked the court last week to put a stop to marriage licenses for gays, given the state law that still stands.
Wednesday morning, California Supreme Court justices shot down a petition from a San Diego County clerk and said that yes, the man must grant licenses to gay couples who wish to marry, despite existing state law.