By Kathleen Gilbert

SACRAMENTO, November 20, 2008 ( – Following the advice of the state’s attorney general, the California Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to speed up the legal process by reviewing three lower court cases that aim to nullify Proposition 8, California’s true marriage amendment.

The court has also officially refused demands from the homosexual quarter to allow same-sex “marriages” to continue while the hearings proceed.

Both Attorney General Jerry Brown and Proposition 8 supporters had requested the court hear the cases swiftly in order to quell increasing agitation in California and across the country sparked by the passage of the amendment.  Proposition 8 reinstituted legal protection of true marriage after the Supreme Court imposed same-sex “marriage” on California in May, ignoring a 2000 voter-approved true marriage law.

The justices directed the defendants in the cases to submit arguments by Dec. 19. Lawyers for the plaintiffs must respond before Jan. 5.

Spokeswoman for the Court, Lynn Holton, said oral arguments would be heard in March at the earliest.

According to the Union-Tribune, 6 of the 7 Supreme Court justices voted to accept the cases, three of whom were against same-sex “marriage” in May.  Only one judge favored allowing same-sex “marriages” throughout the hearings.

Both supporters and critics of Proposition 8 hailed the Court’s decision. 

Same-sex “marriage” advocates say they are confident that the amendment will be struck down as an illegal revision that breaches the rights of homosexual couples.  Others, however, are equally confident that Proposition 8 will prevail, saying the scope of the litigation that the court will address extends only to the legality of Proposition 8 in terms of the California Constitution, and not to its overall propriety or cultural impact. The Court will also review whether same-sex “marriages” already enacted should continue to be recognized under Proposition 8.

The official proponents of Proposition 8 said they are “profoundly gratified” that the California Supreme Court granted all their requests. The court not only accepted jurisdiction of the cases but allowed the Yes on 8 campaign to intervene, and refused outside groups direct participation in the litigation.

“This is a great day for the rule of law and the voters of California,” said General Counsel Andy Pugno, an attorney allied with the Alliance Defense Fund. “This order means that voters will get their day in court and ensures that voters will have a vigorous defense of Proposition 8 before the California Supreme Court. We are profoundly gratified with the Court’s order and are confident that Proposition 8 will be upheld.”

Because the Court will allow the Yes on 8 campaign to defend the amendment in court, Pugno said voters can be sure “there will be a thorough and vigorous defense of Prop. 8.”   If the court had not permitted the Yes on 8 to intervene, attorney general Jerry Brown, who is known to be a supporter of homosexual “marriage,” would have been the amendment’s only defendant before the court. 

“Since the attorney general was an active opponent of Proposition 8, we did not want the fate of the measure to rest in his defense of it,” said Pugno.

The case originally launched by the city of San Francisco against the amendment has recently gathered other municipal and county authorities as official plaintiffs.  These include the board of supervisors for Alameda, Marin, San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. Already listed as plaintiffs are representatives of the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as the counties of Santa Clara and Los Angeles.  The Union-Tribune reports the city of San Diego also hopes to follow suit.

According to the tally thus far, 42 of California’s 58 counties supported Proposition 8 by popular vote, including the counties of Los Angeles and San Diego.

See related coverage:

California Attorney General Asks Supreme Court to Rule on Prop. 8

California Democratic Legislators Urge Judges to Void Prop. 8

Schwarzenegger Assures Same-Sex Couples Previous “Marriages” Intact