After SCOTUS setback, Prop. 8 supporters ask California Supreme Court to uphold the law
SACRAMENTO, CA, July 17, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – In the wake of a June 26 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding a homosexual district court judge’s injunction against Proposition 8, California’s voter-passed constitutional amendment banning same-sex ‘marriage,’ Alliance Defending Freedom petitioned the California Supreme Court Friday to order the state’s county clerks to uphold the law.
ADF’s attorneys argued that because the U.S. Court did not rule on the amendment’s constitutionality, and the original district court ruling didn’t apply to the entire state, county clerks should honor the state constitution and continue to refuse marriage permits to same-sex couples.
But on June 28, just two days after the U.S. Court’s ruling, California State Registrar Tony Agurto ordered all county clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to homosexual couples, which ADF says violates the state’s constitution.
Technically, the registrar doesn’t have the authority to issue such orders to county clerks. However, California Attorney General Kamala Harris publicly stated that she will take legal action against any clerk who declines to follow the registrar’s directive.
ADF’s petition asks the California Supreme Court to put Harris and Agurto in check, reminding the Court, “This Court’s case law requires executive officials charged with ministerial duties to execute those duties regardless of their or others’ views about the constitutionality of the laws imposing those duties.”
The petition continues, “Article III, section 3.5 of the California Constitution prohibits government agencies and officials from declaring state law unenforceable, or declining to enforce state law, on the basis that the law is unconstitutional, unless an appellate court has first made that determination.”
Since “there is no appellate decision holding that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional,” ADF’s attorneys argue that state agencies and officials not directly affected by the original district court injunction are required to uphold state law, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
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In light of Agurto’s and Harris’s refusal to uphold the state constitution, ADF is asking the Court to issue an order forcing them to do so.
“Everyone on all sides of the marriage debate should agree that the legal process must be followed,” said ADF senior counsel Austin Nimocks. “Public officials should enforce the marriage amendment because they are not bound by the district court’s injunction.”
Added Nimocks, “The more than 7 million Californians that approved Proposition 8 have a right to see the rule of law—and the constitutional initiatives that the people enact—respected.”