SACRAMENTO, CA, July 24, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The California Supreme Court has denied a clerk's petition that he not be forced to issue same-sex “marriage” licenses until a court clarify whether it is legal for him to do so.
San Diego County Clerk Ernest Dronenburg, who issues marriage licenses for a living, filed suit to seek “legal clarification” that he was acting according to legal norms.
Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris ordered the state to begin issuing marriage licenses to homosexual couples who request them following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that the state's voters lacked standing to defend Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment voters approved defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
However, the Supreme Court did not rule on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 itself. Article III, Section 3.5 of the California Constitution requires an appellate court to rule a law unconstitutional before officials stop enforcing it. Pro-family activists argue that a 2010 ruling by a federal judge blocking Prop. 8's enforcement applies only in the two counties directly mentioned in the case
Dronenburg also raised two questions of jurisdiction.
“I just want the law. Just give me the law,” he pleaded.
“The request for an immediate temporary stay or injunctive relief is denied,” the court wrote in a terse, two-sentence order. The court noted that Associate Justice Kathrn Werdegar, who was nominated by Governor Pete Wilson, was “absent and did not participate” in the decision.
The public servant has come under fire for seeking to assure he was doing his job properly.
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“Proponents of Proposition 8, those that want to ban gay marriage – you’ve lost,” said Sean Sala, an LGBT activist, who derided Dronenburg in front of the ccounty administration building.
Susan Jester, the president of the San Diego County chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans, said, “His job is to implement the law, not to try to change it.”
When asked, Dronenburg repeatedly demurred to give his private view on the wisdom of redefining marriage. But he told reporters he was committed to following the law, and he paid the cost of his court case out of his own pocket. He also received the pro bono services of renowned attorney Charles LiMandri.
The U.S. Supreme Court also rebuffed a petition to block California from issuing gay marriage licenses until the constitutionality of Prop. 8 was settled.
The high court issued a statement that “Justice [Anthony] Kennedy denied the application on his own, without further comment.”