Thursday, May 29, 2008

Liberty Counsel Requests the California Supreme Court to Rehear and Stay its Marriage Decision

Today, Liberty Counsel filed a Petition requesting the California Supreme Court to stay and to reconsider its decision that sanctioned same-sex marriage. Liberty Counsel represents the Campaign for California Families.

Liberty Counsel's Petition requests that the Court stay its opinion pending the upcoming vote in November on the California Marriage Protection Act ("Amendment") ("Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California"). Unlike Proposition 22, passed by a margin of 61.4 percent in 2000, but which was not a constitutional amendment, this ballot initiative will amend the state constitution and thus overrule the Court’s decision. Between April 24 and May 13, 2008, almost two months after the March 4 oral argument, 1,120,590 signed petitions were submitted to the Secretary of State. Only 694,354 petitions are needed to place the Amendment on the November ballot. The Court should stay its decision pending this vote. A stay would avoid the circus-like atmosphere that occurred in 2004 when “same-sex marriage” licenses were issued by San Francisco and then later voided. The Amendment would similarly overrule this Court&! rsquo;s decision and nullify the licenses issued between the end of June and November.

Liberty Counsel's Petition also requests that the Court rehear the case because of unforeseen and unintended consequences of the decision. If the Court's ruling goes into effect without modification, individuals could create polygamous and polyamorous relationships. Parties A and B, C and D, and E and F, who are in a Vermont (or New Jersey and Connecticut) civil union, could all become interconnected when Parties A and C obtain a California same-sex marriage. At the same time B and F and D and E could get married, all at the same time. These polygamous and polyamorous relationships are made possible by this Court’s decision, which opens up marriage to same-sex couples while retaining the AB 205 Domestic Partnership law. This law provides the same rights and benefits as provided to spouses in marriage. It is parallel to marriage except in name. Liberty Counsel
has a chart ! explaining this problem in the Petition and on it website at www.LC.org. Liberty Counsel’s Petition points out that the Court has unwittingly created a system that hopelessly entangles property, custody, visitation and other rights. If not stopped, this fiasco will travel like a tsunami, wreaking havoc on couples in California and other states.

The California Supreme Court has created a Gordian Knot that even Alexander the Great could not undo. This case illustrates why judges should leave lawmaking to the legislature. The decision has created unintended and unforeseen consequences, including polygamy and group marriage. Polygamy violates federal law and policy. The Court should stay the case until the people vote in November on the Marriage Protection Amendment, which, when passed, will overrule this outrageous decision.

Read the 29-page petition (in PDF) that has been submitted to the California Supreme Court.
View Liberty Counsel's chart (in PDF) showing how polygamy and polyamory (group marriage) can be recognized in California because of the California same-sex marriage ruling.