Wednesday, June 04, 2008

California Supreme Court’s Denial of Stay Ignores the Will of the People

Today the California Supreme Court by a 4-3 vote denied the Petition for Stay and for Rehearing in the California marriage cases. The decision was split along the same lines as the original May 15 ruling with Chief Justice George and Justices Kennard, Werdegar and Moreno in the majority. Justices Baxter, Chin and Corrigan dissented. Today’s ruling states that the May 15 "same-sex marriage" decision will become final on June 16, 2008, at 5:00 pm (PT).

Liberty Counsel filed a Petition on behalf of the Campaign for California Families requesting the California Supreme Court to stay its opinion pending the November election. On Monday, the California Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, certified the California Marriage Protection Act ("Amendment") for the November 2008 ballot. The Amendment to the California Constitution states: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." Thus, neither the courts nor any governmental agency will be permitted to validate or recognize any same-sex marriage license.

The cases now will return to the California Court of Appeal for the Supreme Court's order to be implemented. Liberty Counsel is considering filing a petition with Court of Appeal requesting a stay pending the outcome of the November vote on the Amendment. The Court of Appeal panel previously upheld the state’s marriage laws.

Denying a stay in light of the certification of the Marriage Protection Act for the November ballot reveals the political agenda of a handful of judges. Judges acting as judges and not as legislators would have granted the stay. The battle over marriage is far from over and will not be decided by four judges. The people will decide in November. If any same-sex marriage licenses are issued before November, the passage of the constitutional amendment will make them invalid and invisible.